In a big development, the government on Tuesday banned the export of all sanitisers and ventilators with immediate effect in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, it had banned the export of certain ventilators, surgical and disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks.
"Export of all sanitisers...is prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
Furthermore, it also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device.
Earlier, The Narendra Modi government contended that there was misinformation regarding the efforts to increase the supply of PPE such as body coveralls, N-95 Masks, and 2-ply/3-ply surgical masks. For instance, there are stringent technical requirements for the production of body overalls which were earlier fulfilled only by a few international companies. It was clarified that the supply of body coveralls from indigenous manufacturers had commenced from March 2.
Moreover, the Centre revealed that it had banned the export of all personal protective equipment way back on January 31. The ban was lifted on February 8 on the assurance that adequate supply of PPE at reasonable prices would be ensured. However, the ban on the export of 2-ply/3-ply surgical masks and the raw material required for manufacturing such products was again imposed on March 19. It was stated that the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Pharmaceuticals, and the Ministry of Textiles were continuously working with all stakeholders to maintain a steady supply of all materials required for healthcare professionals.
Govt working with various industry bodies & manufacturers to streamline supply chain, remove bottlenecks & maintain a steady supply of all materials required for the healthcare professionals.#IndiaFightsCoronavirus@TexMinIndia @MoHFW_INDIA— PIB India (@PIB_India) March 23, 2020
According to the latest figure available on Tuesday, India has so far reported 505 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, entailing a 79-patient increase over 24 hours. 10 people have so far died from COVID-19. Multiple states across the country have taken up measures to contain the spread of the virus and have ordered a complete lockdown at least till March 31, with an extension likely. Numerous states have announced lockdowns till at least March 31, suspending all public transport services and non-essential services.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the nation at 8 PM on Tuesday on vital aspects relating to the menace of COVID-19.