India has allowed the immediate export of at least two large consignments of protective clothing including masks to China setting aside the ban on the export of personal protection equipment imposed on February 1 amid the ongoing new coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) outbreak.
Indian officials are also in the process of clearing at least half-a-dozen more such consignments specifically for China, official sources in Beijing told the Hindustan Times.
These transactions will be done on a “commercial” basis between importers in China and manufacturers in India with the Indian government’s sanction.
Separately, the Indian embassy in Beijing has also reached out to the Chinese government through China’s foreign ministry to offer assistance in containing the NCP outbreak which has claimed over 900 lives and infected more than 40000 people until Sunday midnight.
This follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to President Xi Jinping on Sunday in which he expressed solidarity with the Chinese people during the ongoing epidemic and offered New Delhi’s assistance to deal with the serious health emergency.
India, official sources added had sent about 40 boxes of protective clothing in the second Air India flight which was dispatched from New Delhi to Wuhan to evacuate Indians from Hubei.
The first two consignments which were “cleared on an ad hoc basis” contain at least 1.5 million masks.
The central Chinese province of Hubei, and its capital, Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre, are facing a severe shortage of protective equipment like masks, gloves and protective clothing.
Medical workers are facing a serious threat of being infected as a result.
Chinese importers had placed orders for protective clothing from India towards the end of January as NCP rapidly spread across the country.
The orders, however, were stalled after India banned the export of those goods on February 1.
“Exports of all varieties of personal protection equipment including clothing and masks used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and/or any other respiratory masks or any other personal protective clothing (including coveralls and N95 masks)...is hereby prohibited with immediate effect till further orders,” the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in the February 1notification.
No reason was given for the ban but it could have been a precautionary measure to ensure enough supplies if the infection spreads to India.
At a subsequent meeting chaired by the Cabinet secretariat, it was decided to waive the ban in a “case by case” basis, with a focus on China’s shortage of protective clothing.
A multi-member screening committee has been set up by India’s ministry of health to look into each such request before waiving the ban.
It was learnt that the requests from Chinese importers were the first ones to be considered.
Until late last week, China had publicly acknowledged that 21 countries and the United Nations Children’s Fund had donated epidemic prevention and control supplies to China.
Those countries were South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Hungary, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Trinidad and Tobago, spokesperson Hua Chunying said at an online press briefing.
India wasn’t mentioned in the list.
The US is said to have donated 18 tonnes and the EU around 12 tonnes of supplies to China so far.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.