Government Bans Export Of Ventilators, Surgical/Disposable Masks Amid Virus Scare

India on January 31 banned export of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air-borne particles

Government Bans Export Of Ventilators, Surgical/Disposable Masks Amid Virus Scare

The decision will shore up domestic supplies of these items amid coronavirus outbreak (Representational)

New Delhi:

The government on Thursday banned export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks and coveralls with immediate effect in wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The export of all ventilators, surgical/disposable masks only, and textile raw material for masks and coveralls only...has been prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

The decision will shore up domestic supplies of these items amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed four people and infected over 170 in India.

However, the notification said items including gloves, ophthalmic instruments and appliances, surgical blades, gas masks with chemical absorbent for filtration against poisonous vapour and smoke, and biopsy punch can be freely exported.

India on January 31 banned export of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air-borne particles.

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However on February 26, the government removed eight items, including a certain kind of gas mask and surgical blades, from the list of banned export items.

Stepping up efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, India banned landing of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22 for a week, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to stay indoors and called for a ''janata curfew'' on Sunday.

India has reported 173 coronavirus cases, including 25 foreign nationals -- 17 from Italy, 3 from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each belonging to Canada, Indonesia and Singapore.