Israel brings anti-malarial drug from India to fight COVID-19

Source: Xinhua| 2020-04-09 21:27:37|Editor: huaxia

JERUSALEM, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Israel has brought an anti-malaria drug from India to contain the spread of COVID-19 in its country, Israeli media reported Thursday.

An Israeli Air Force aircraft carrying five tons of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on Tuesday landed in Israel from India.

India has recently banned the export of HCQ. However, following a conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Friday, India agreed to make an exception and export the drug to Israel.

On Tuesday, India announced it has enough stocks of the drug for exports. This development came after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened India with "retaliation" if it did not supply HCQ to the United States, which is severely affected by the pandemic.

The drug is currently used to prevent and treat malaria, and also treats rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

A clinical trial conducted by France's IHU Mediterranee Infection institute in Marseille showed improvement in COVID-19 patients who were treated with the drug, and even better results after they were treated with a combination of HCQ and antibiotics.