Centre prohibits export of all ventilators, surgical masks, raw material

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 20, 2020

A file photo of masks produced at Centre of Excellence at PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research in Coimbatore on Tuesday.   -  M PERIASAMY

Move likely to increase the availability of critical protective gear for healthcare professionals dealing with coronavirus

The Centre has prohibited export of all ventilators, disposable surgical masks and specific textile raw material for masks and coveralls in a move that could increase the availability of personal protective gear for healthcare professionals in the country fighting the deadly coronavirus.

“The export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable (2/3 ply) masks and textile raw material for masks and coverall only falling under the ITCHS Codes specified against each has been prohibited, with immediate effect,” according to the notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) on Thursday, late evening.

Earlier this year, the government had placed a ban on the export of all surgical masks soon after the coronavirus had started spreading in China and beyond. But the ban was removed a month later in February 2020. The ban on the industrial purpose N-95 masks, supposed to give substantial protection against the virus, was, however, retained.

Despite a shortage of certain critical personal protective equipment, including masks, in the Indian market, New Delhi is set to meet the requests for such gear by Saarc countries. While consignments of masks, gloves and shoe covers have already been despatched to Bhutan and Maldives, requests made by other countries are being processed, according to officials from the Ministry of External Affairs.

Published on March 20, 2020

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