coronavirus: Government bans exports of certain masks, ventilators, raw material for masks, coveralls
New Delhi: The government on Thursday banned the export of certain kinds of masks, ventilators and textile raw materials for masks and coveralls amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The exports of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks (2/3 ply) masks only and textile raw materials for masks and coveralls…has been prohibited with immediate effect,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
The exports of these products were free till now. DGFT had on February 25 prohibited the export of all personal protection equipment including clothing and masks used in healthcare activities where there is a risk of contamination such as N-95 masks. However, surgical/ disposable (2/3 ply) masks, surgical blades, gas masks and disposable shoe covers were freely exportable.
In the April-January period, India exported coveralls worth $100 million, surgical apparatus worth $2.8 billion.
The tightened norms are in addition to the government restricting the exports of 26 active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations on March 3 to ensure there is no shortage of drugs in India due to the lockdown in China’s Hubei’s province, a major source for these raw materials that has also been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
The export restrictions are applicable on paracetamol and vitamins B1, B6 and B12, tinidazole, metronidazole, acyclovir, progesterone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin salts, neomycin, clindamycin salts and ornidazole.
The pharma industry, meanwhile, is keen to resume exports of these drugs.