India will dispatch a consignment to Kenya of an anti-malarial drug reported to have the potential to help treat Covid-19.
A consignment of hydroxychloroquine will be shipped in a few weeks following a deal that was reached between the two governments.
Sources privy to the deal that saw India relax restrictions to export the drug to any country said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government allowed only 379,000 tablets to be shipped to Kenya as a special gesture.
“It is true that the drug manufactured by Ipca Laboratories, an international company based in Mumbai, is to be exported to Kenya through a pharmaceutical company in Nairobi to help Covid-19 patients,” said the source.
India banned exports of the drug on March 25, a decision that saw US President Donald Trump warn of retaliation against the Asian nation.
Covid 19 Time Series
The drug termed by Mr Trump a possible “game changer” when combined with an antibiotic in treating symptoms is to arrive in the country just days after the US' National Institutes of Health told doctors not to use the drug in combination with azithromycin as a Covid-19 treatment.
The US panel comprising 50 doctors, pharmacy experts and state officials said the drug could lead to heart complications. The Food and Drug Administration also warned against using the drug without medical supervision.