New Delhi: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday, thanking him for easing restrictions on the export of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bolsonaro compared India’s move to the legend of Hanuman bringing Sanjeevani booti for Lakshman in the epic Ramayana.
“Just as Lord Hanuman brought the holy medicine from the Himalayas to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Laksmana (sic), and Jesus healed those who were sick and restored the sight of Bartimeu, India and Brazil will overcome this global crisis by joining forces and sharing blessings for the sake of all peoples,” Bolsonaro’s letter stated.
Brazilian President Bolsanaro invokes Lord Hanuman and the legend of sanjeevini booti while seeking help from India to fight COVID-19.
Expect ‘usual suspects’ to start locating Brazil on the map! pic.twitter.com/nnRRWP9YHv
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 8, 2020
According to reports, Bolsonaro in his letter also emphasised that HCQ was required not just to fight coronavirus but for other diseases too.
More than 14,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 in Brazil, and around 700 have died so far.
Prime Minister Modi also took to Twitter Wednesday to wish people on Hanuman Jayanti amid the lockdown, saying the life of ‘pawanputra‘ (son of the wind) will give people strength to overcome every crisis.
हनुमान जयंती के पावन अवसर पर देशवासियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। भक्ति, शक्ति, समर्पण और अनुशासन के प्रतीक पवनपुत्र का जीवन हमें हर संकट का सामना करने और उससे पार पाने की प्रेरणा देता है।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 8, 2020
India is the largest manufacturer of HCQ, an anti-malarial drug that is also considered one of the possible cures for the novel coronavirus. The Covid-19 pandemic has infected more than 1.4 million people and resulted in the death of over 83,000 across the world.
India had earlier banned the export of HCQ, and only allowed it after US President Donald Trump requested an urgent supply. Trump had said that he didn’t like Modi’s decision to ban the export of the drug.
PM Modi’s conversation with Bolsonaro
On 4 April, Modi had a telephonic conversation with Bolsonaro to discuss the Covid-19 outbreak. The PM also gave his condolences to the coronavirus victims in Brazil.
During the conversation, both Modi and Bolsanaro had stressed on close cooperation between India and Brazil to mitigate the damages done by the pandemic.
According to a government statement, Modi had “assured all possible support” to the Brazilian President. The two leaders also agreed that their officials would remain in regular touch to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the challenges emerging from it.
Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the 70th Republic Day celebrations this year.