Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday agreed with United States President Donald Trump that “extraordinary times require closer cooperation between friends”. Trump had made the remark on Wednesday after thanking Modi for India supplying the United States the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which is believed to be effective against Covid-19.
“Fully agree with you President @realDonaldTrump,” Modi tweeted on Thursday. “Times like these bring friends closer. The India-US partnership is stronger than ever. India shall do everything possible to help humanity’s fight against Covid-19. We shall win this together.”
In his daily Coronavirus Task Force press conference at the White House, Trump called Modi “terrific”. “I want to thank Prime Minister Modi of India for allowing us to have what we requested for the problem and he was terrific,” Trump said. “We will remember it.”
India had banned the export of hydroxychloroquine earlier this month in an effort to keep enough supplies of the drug for use within the country.
Trump had on Tuesday said that India had agreed to provide hydroxychloroquine to the United States, but if it did not do so, there could be “retaliation”. Hours after that, the Ministry of External Affairs rescinded the earlier ban and said India will export paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine in appropriate quantities to “nations who have been particularly badly affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States had by late Wednesday reported 4,31,838 cases of Covid-19, by far the highest for any country in the world, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 2,000 people died in the United States on Wednesday for the second day in a row, and nearly 15,000 people had succumbed to the disease since the outbreak began.