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NEW DELHI : Continuing with his high-level exchanges with world leaders on the phone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday discussed the economic fallout of the covid-19 pandemic with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven and Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman.

A statement from Modi’s office said he and Lofven “agreed on the potential for collaboration and data sharing between Indian and Swedish researchers and scientists, which would also contribute to the global efforts against covid-19."

“They also agreed that their officials would remain in touch to optimise availability of medical supplies for fighting covid-19," it said.

India on Tuesday announced that it was lifting curbs on the export of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) – seen in some cases as useful to treat covid-19 patients and also as a prophylactic for doctors, nurses, paramedics and first responders in the frontline of the fight against the disease that has sickened almost 1.4 million people and killed almost 76,000 worldwide. Sweden has recorded 7,206 infections and 477 deaths due to covid-19. In India, infections due the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes covid-19 has crossed the 4,500 mark with 122 deaths.

Modi and Lofven also “promised to provide necessary facilitation and assistance for each other’s citizens, who may be stranded due to ongoing travel restrictions," the Indian statement added.

In his talks with the Sultan of Oman, Modi and the Omani leader “agreed that both countries would extend all possible support to each other in dealing with the crisis."

The Omani leader assured Modi of “the safety and wellbeing of the Indian community in Oman in the present situation. He also thanked the prime minister for the recent support provided by Government of India to Omani citizens in India," the statement said.

Modi on his part “stressed that India regards Oman as a very important part of its extended neighbourhood," the statement added.

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