Thursday 3 December 2020
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Brazil seeks ‘sanjīvani’ from India, invoking Hanuman

Brazilian President Jer Bolsonaro's letter seeking hydroxychloroquine from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, invoking the Ramayana, has gone viral on Hanuman Jayanti

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Biology Health Brazil seeks 'sanjīvani' from India, invoking Hanuman

As the world reels under the global pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID), India has risen to the occasion, fighting the China-origin biological agent with anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. After US President Donald Trump told a reporter he was sure India was not going to block the drug’s export to his country, President of Brazil Jer Bolsonaro has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking India for the export of the drug.

The president of Brazil wrote in the letter that the Indian help in Brazil’s hour of crisis reminded the Latin American nation of Lord Hanuman in the Ramayana who had brought in sanjīvani to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana.

The letter from the president of Brazil has gone viral on the day of Hanuman Jayanti, 8 April.

The letter stands in stark contrast against Brazil’s spar with China over medical kit supplies from the latter for the past two days.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump had thanked Prime Minister Modi for exporting hydroxychloroquine to America. On Tuesday, the government had partially lifted the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, the government has taken this decision on humanitarian grounds. These medicines will be sent to the countries that are expected to reciprocate by supplying to India the material it needs to fight COVID.

However, the export will depend on stock availability after meeting the domestic requirement.

COVID, which emerged as a pandemic, is spreading rapidly in many countries of the world. Even developed countries like the US, Italy, Spain appear helpless before the onslaught of the fast-spreading disease.

Indian doctors have conventionally administered hydroxychloroquine to patients of malaria. Cases of malaria are rampant in India, which is why the country produces this drug in massive volumes. It is, in fact, the largest producer of hydroxychloroquine in the world. The drug also helps fight coronavirus.

Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and porphyria cutanea tarda as well.

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