Pakistan announced it would send the anti-malaria drug chloroquine to help friendly nations deal with the COVID-19 crisis, official media said on Tuesday.
“The Cabinet also approved the export of chloroquine to the USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UK, Italy, Qatar, and Kazakhstan as Pakistan has an additional stock of the drug,” Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan told reporters after the meeting.
As global Covid-19 cases surpass 2.5M. Here are latest updates:
🇬🇧 UK deaths in hospitals rise by 828 to 17,337
🇹🇷 Turkey quarantines 366 expats
🇵🇰 Pakistan to send chloroquine to several countries
🇳🇱 Dutch cases rise by 729 to 34,134
— TRT World (@trtworld) April 21, 2020
The SAPM added that Prime Minister Imran Khan informed the cabinet that leaders of some countries had called him and expressed a desire to import the tablets from Pakistan following some encouraging results in treating the coronavirus.
Read more: How will COVID-19 shape the world politics?
She further stated that “Pakistan has 40 million chloroquine tablets in stock and raw materials to produce more.”
“One million chloroquine tablets will be sent to Saudi Arabia and the United States each, 500,000 to Turkey and Italy each, five million to the United Kingdom, 700,000 to Kazakhstan and 300,000 to Qatar,” the Dawn newspaper quoted Awan.
“Pakistan has always been asking these countries for something or the other. So, for the sake of humanity and to improve Pakistan’s credibility and face value, this is a good chance to help them in the hour of need,” she said.
The SAPM criticised the role of opposition during the ongoing pandemic. She was referring to the National Accountability Bureau’s warning to PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif on Monday, after which the opposition PML-N demanded ‘live broadcast of questioning from him’ during his appearance on Wednesday.
The SAPM quipped that opposition members had suddenly started ‘gracing media screens’ and became Shehbaz’s representatives rather than people’s for whom they were elected to represent. She advised them to talk to the people about ‘corona pains’ rather than ‘NAB pains’ and to help and support the government’s efforts to deal with the pandemic.