Dominican Republic, a Caribbean nation known for its stunningly picturesque landscapes, may be located thousands of miles from India, but that hasn’t stopped India from sending anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine to the coronavirus-hit country. Responding to a request from DR, India’s Ministry of External Affairs pulled out all stops to send a consignment of 200,000 tablets of HCQ to the Caribbean country. After exploring all options, the MEA finally zeroed in on a Delta cargo plane that left Mumbai on April 15 for the Atlanta city, from where it was shipped to the Dominican Republic.This timely supply of medicines in a record time, despite continental distances, has earned India lasting gratitude of the Dominican Republic, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.
In a letter to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Dominican Republic’s Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas conveyed his deep gratitude. “In these trying times for our country, and indeed the whole world, this medicine from India will make a tremendous difference because each life saved brings hope to our people.”“My thanks to Dammu Ravi, Gloria Gangte and Ambassador Madhu Sethi in Havana for all the coordination and their team efforts. We can be proud of the unrelenting work over the last 15 years in the pursuit of strengthening our bilateral relations,” he wrote.
Dominican Republic’s envoy in Delhi, Ambassador Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, also thanked India and lauded India-DR solidarity. “We sincerely thank India, PM Modi, and the MEA for the solidarity and friendship shown to our country in these hard times. India’s gesture will save lives and further strengthen our bilateral relations,” said Ambassador Castellanos.
India supplied 200,000 HCQ tablets to the island nation this week following a request on March 25 for the drug, which has shown to have a therapeutic effect in patients, and together with the plasma therapy, are some of the interventions being used to treat the COVID-19 victims.Positively accepting the request, the MEA informed the Dominican Embassy on April 11 that it will arrange for the supply. The External Affairs Ministry said in a note that it is happy to convey the decision to gift 200,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to the Dominican Republic.
According to the Dominican Republic’s Public Health Ministry, the rate of new COVID-19 infections has dropped over the past few days. Currently, the number of infections total of 3,755 and 196 deaths. At his daily press brief, Health minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas expressed hope that “this trend continues its decline”.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has commended India for supplying the essential drug to several nations.On April 17, India had also announced to send HCQ supplies to 13 countries, including Brazil, Bahrain, Germany, Spain, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles.
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