BENGALURU: India, the world’s main supplier of generic drugs, has restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including paracetamol, as the corona virus outbreak plays havoc with supply chains. But the Indian government said there were enough stocks to manufacture formulations for two-to-three months and urged calm.
Indian drug makers rely on China, the source of the virus outbreak, for almost 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for their medicines. Industry experts say they are likely to face shortages if the epidemic drags on. "Export of specified APIs and formulations made from these APIs... is hereby 'restricted' with immediate effect and till further orders," the Director General of Foreign Trade said in a statement here on Tuesday, without explaining the extent of the restrictions.
The list given by the government of 26 APIs and their formulations accounts is for 10% of all Indian pharmaceutical exports. In a statement, the Union government said state authorities had been asked to monitor the production and availability of APIs and formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding.
Separately, the government said it had detected “high viral load” in six people who had been in contact with a patient who contracted the virus in the capital New Delhi. The patient in New Delhi was being monitored and was stable, the government said. The people have been kept in isolation and their samples are being sent to India's National Institute of Virology for confirmation, the government said in a statement here
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, seeking to quell public fears, said “There is no need to panic. India had an extensive review regarding preparedness on the COVID-19 Novel Corona virus. Different ministries & states are working together, from screening people arriving in India to providing prompt medical attention,” he added. (Inputs from news agencies)
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