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Jul 28, 2020

Indian Government Donates Medication to Belizean Government

A donation to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic was received by the Ministry of Health.  It came from a friend in the Commonwealth, the Government of India.  The gift is notable for its value and is made up of an assortment of items, including the controversial hydroxychloroquine tablets. The med is successful in the fight against malaria, but there are some who believe it can also be used as treatment for COVID-19. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo with a report.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Valued at more than quarter of a million dollars, today the Government of India gifted Belize COVID-related medical aid in the form of hydroxychloroquine tablets, fourteen essential drugs, testing kits, and COVID-related protection gear as part of its regional response to the global pandemic.


Arun Hotchandani

Arun Hotchandani, Honorary Consul General of India to Belize

“So the government of India decided to get together and the Prime Minister decided to allow some kind of donation and he rounded the necessary, he got his medical team together and got the necessary equipment and the medication that he thought would assist countries. We have a great relation with India SICA, with CARICOM and also the South American countries. These are some of the countries that are part of the donation. It is not just medication. It is P.P.E.s. You have mask. You have some kits. You have some gowns, you have thermometers. You have a bit of everything it is whole combination.”


In that combination are over twenty thousand tablets of hydroxychloroquine, drugs used to prevent or treat malaria. It is also the drug that some believe can cure persons infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine due to risk of heart rhythm problems.


Arun Hotchandani

“Everybody has their own view. I remember when I brought it up with the minister and he said that he would gladly accept it. Whether they would use it or not is something. They would use defienlty for other illnesses. So I think it is best the medical doctors advise you as why this medication may be used or may not be used. But India just found it in there to put a combination of all these mecication put together.”


Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

“We always take the advice from the doctors. We don’t know if we are going to use those medications. It is already the whole package of donation so we had to accept. It will be up to us if we will use it or not. We have seen the evidence outside other countries. We always take advice from WHO and PAHO so we will still hold on to those medication.”


Pablo Marin

The Government of India through Belize’s Ministry of Health will also be facilitating online-training for frontline healthcare workers. According to Honorary Consul General of India to Belize, Arun Hotchandani, the delivery of the medical aid was accomplished despite the difficult circumstances of the global lockdown, which has adversely affected the drug supply chains and global delivery logistics.  Health Minister Pablo Marin says the donation will greatly assist Belize’s fight against the novel coronavirus.


Pablo Marin

“This is just a positive impact to Belize and to show that friendly relations that we had with India for so many years, this just show that when you have a big brother, they always look at the young one and try to hold their hand and make them walk so this is something that I think we should really appreciate. We should look at the extent of health that it will do. A quarter million dollars donated by a country is a lot.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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