Ban on export of PPE coveralls, hydroxychloroquine, sanitizers lifted

The restrictions on the export of medical supplies, including PPE coveralls, 2/3 ply masks and sanitizers, which are key in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) have been lifted, Union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Goyal informed that prohibition on the export of various medical items such as face shields, hydroxychloroquine API and its formulations, and 13 other pharmaceutical APIs and its formulations have been removed.

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Sanitizers too can now be exported except when in containers with dispenser pumps. The government has also lifted the ban imposed on the export of ventilators.

While the export of diagnostic kits, N-95/FFP2 masks is currently restricted, they can be exported in a limited monthly quota, the commerce ministry said in the statement.

The ban on the export of medical supplies was put in place earlier this year to ensure domestic availability of the items in the view of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country. The curbs have been relaxed following a time-to-time assessment of the domestic requirement, production capacity and the availability of surplus products for export, the statement added.

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The government also hailed the increased domestic production of the items to meet the requirement amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Goyal said that prior to March 20, India was importing PPE coveralls as there was very limited domestic production. However, now the domestic production has gone up to 1.5 crore units per month and hence, the lift of the export ban, he added.

The availability of alcohol-based hand sanitizers that was at 10 lakh litres per annum earlier has subsequently increased to 38 lakh litres per day, enabling the prohibition on its export to be removed, he said in a statement.

The minister also pointed towards the ramped-up production of domestically manufactured ventilators, which he said, was negligible prior to January 2020.

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