WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has sought help from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the sale of Hydroxychloroquine tablets ordered by the US to treat the growing number of coronavirus patients in his country, hours after India banned the export of the anti-malarial drug.

Trump said he spoke to Prime Minister Modi on Saturday morning and made a request to release Hydroxychloroquine – an old and inexpensive drug used to treat malaria – for the US.

“I called Prime Minister Modi of India this morning. They make large amounts of Hydroxychloroquine. India is giving it a serious consideration,” Trump said at his daily news conference at the White House on Saturday.

India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade on April 4 banned the export of Hydroxychloroquine and its formulations with immediate effect and made it clear that there will be no exceptions.

Trump said he would appreciate if India releases the amount of Hydrocoralline that the US has ordered.

“And I said I would appreciate if they (India) would release the amounts that we ordered,” he said, without mentioning that quantity of Hydroxychloroquine that has been ordered by US companies from India.

With more than three lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and over 8,000 fatalities, the US has emerged as the global epicentre of the deadly coronavirus disease to which there has been no cure.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the anti-malarial drug for those involved in the care of suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus and also, for the asymptomatic household contacts of laboratory confirmed cases.

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