Pakistan yet again bans export of anti-malaria drugs
In the latest turn of events, the commerce ministry has yet again banned the export of anti-malaria medicines after allowing the trade earlier in the week, showing the lack of clarity on the part of policymakers.
The latest notification is third in a series that started on April 3 when the ministry had imposed a ban on export. However, the decision was reversed on April 6 when it allowed the export of these anti-malaria medicines.
The ban has been imposed due to the coronavirus spread in the country, the notification says, adding that the move will remain in effect for an indefinite period.
The government had faced severe criticism over allowing the export from medical professionals who were of the view that Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine were not available in the local market.
According to these experts, it's a life-saving drug for the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.
They also cited the example of India where doctors and paramedics working in coronavirus isolation centres and ICUs are now allowed to take the drug as prophylaxis. Meanwhile, France too has allowed its use, while the US is stockpiling the drug.