KOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday assured the people of West Bengal that the state has an adequate stock of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients.
Hydroxychloroquine is an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria, the export of which was banned by India last month amid views that it could be used as a potential anti- viral agent to protect from infection healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients.
The Centre has decided to partially lift the ban imposed last month on the export of the drug in sync with its global commitment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Tuesday.
The US has sought supply of the drug to treat coronavirus infected people there.
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"There are five companies in India that manufacture hydroxychloroquine. Companies in Gujarat will be supplying it to the US. We also have small units in West Bengal, that manufacture this drug. I will not tell you in detail about this but I can assure you that we have adequate stock of the drug to treat Covid-19 patients," Banerjee said at the secretariat.
She said that her government has been alert and will be fighting against the coronavirus outbreak.
"We didn't know that this (Covid-19 pandemic) was coming. We are alert and doing the best. We will have to stay alive. I want everyone to stay safe and healthy," she added.
Since the outbreak of the ongoing Covid-19, there has been a rush among people to purchase the drug.