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Ban on Export of PPE Kits, Hydroxychloroquine, Sanitiser and Masks Lifted as Domestic Production Rises

A relative wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) adjusts his protective face shield before the cremation of a man who died due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a crematorium in New Delhi. (Reuters)

A relative wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) adjusts his protective face shield before the cremation of a man who died due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a crematorium in New Delhi. (Reuters)

In a statement, the Commerce Ministry said that export of diagnostic kits and N-95 and FFP2 masks is restricted, with only a limited monthly quota being allowed to be shipped overseas.

Export of medical supplies, essential for precautions against Covid-19, like PPE kits, 2/3 ply masks and sanitisers is no longer restricted, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The ban on export of face shields, hydroxyxhloroquine API, 13 other pharmaceutical APIs and their formulations has been lifted, Goyal informed the House. Export of ventilators has also been continued now.

Sanitisers, except when in bottles with dispenser pumps, can be exported.

In a statement, the Commerce Ministry said that export of diagnostic kits and N-95 and FFP2 masks is restricted, with only a limited monthly quota being allowed to be shipped overseas.

The Minister told Parliament that PPE kits were being imported before March 20 due to limited production within the country. However, since domestic production has increased by 1.5 crore units of PPE coveralls per month, the ban on its export has also been lifted.

Lauding the increase in domestic production of items that have become essential in the fight against Covid-19, his statement said that production of alcohol-based hand sanitiser has risen from 10 lakh litres to 30 lakh litres per day. Its export, therefore, has been resumed.

Ventilators, the production of which was negligible before January, are also being produced within the country in large numbers, Goyal pointed out.

The ban on the export of the above medical supplies was put in place at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure their domestic availability. Curbs have regularly been relaxed after frequent assessment of domestic requirement, production capacity and the availability of surplus products for export, the statement added.

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