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Trump Requests Modi for Hydroxycloroquine Just as India Imposes Total Ban on Export

File photo of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former's visit to India.

File photo of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former's visit to India.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade in India on Sunday put a complete ban on the export of hydroxycloroquine and its formulations without exception.

New Delhi: US President Donald Trump held a phone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday where the two leaders, "agreed to deploy the full strength of the India-US partnership to resolutely and effectively combat COVID-19", according to a statement released by the government.

Later, during a press interaction, Trump said he requested Modi to release the amounts of hydroxycloroquine that the United States ordered.

The United States is heavily relying on the anti-malarial drug for treating COVID-19 patients. Trump has also referred to it as a "game-changer" in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the day this conversation took place, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade in India put a complete ban on the export of hydroxycloroquine and its formulations without exception. It changed a March notification that said export can be allowed on a case-to-case basis.

The US president said India is giving his request a "serious consideration", adding that India makes "large amounts of hydroxycloroquine, very large amounts frankly."

There was no immediate response from the government on whether it would consider making an exception for the US after the call, this as the total number of positive cases in India between Saturday and Sunday climbed up by 427 and there were 11 more deaths, according to Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.