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Opposition wants Centre to ban export of medical equipment

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 23, 2020

Want testing scaled up, availability of test kits stepped up

The Opposition criticised the Centre’s measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and has urged to ensure more tests and safety equipment to health professionals. The Congress claims there is a criminal conspiracy in allowing exports of essential medical equipment and the Left said that the lockdowns should be followed by random-testing.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said there was a delay in announcing the ban on export of ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material for making masks. “Respected Prime Minister, why did the government allow the export of all these things till March 19 contrary to WHO’s advice to keep sufficient stock of ventilators and surgical masks. Which forces encouraged these games? Isn’t this a criminal conspiracy,” Gandhi tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier urged people to take the lockdown seriously. “Please save yourself, your family, and follow the instructions seriously. I request the State governments to ensure rules and laws are followed,” Modi said.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury wrote to Modi, urging to scale up the testing of people, particularly those with declared symptoms, during the lockdown. He said such tests will help in finding out areas affected by the Covid-19 and enforcing lockdown at such places.

He said all testing kits approved by the National Institute of Virology must be utilised. “It is strange that the Union Health Ministry has issued a circular that only those testing kits approved by the USFDA and European EC alone will be used. Reports indicate that there is only one manufacturer in Gujarat who produces such kits. In view of the gravity of the situation, this circular must be withdrawn and all kits approved by the NIV must be deployed for use, urgently,” Yechury demanded.

Published on March 23, 2020

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