In wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Tuesday, March 24, banned the export of all sanitisers, ventilators, and other ICU equipment with immediate effect.
"Export of all sanitisers...is prohibited, with immediate effect," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) stated in a notification.
Issuing an order prohibiting the export, the Ministry of Commerce has also banned exports of all types of ventilators, including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance or device.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP government of delaying its decision to ban the export of life-saving equipment like ventilators amid the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting a "criminal conspiracy".
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said, "Respected Prime Minister, why did the Indian government allow the export of all these things till March 19 contrary to WHO's advice to keep sufficient stock of ventilators and surgical masks. Which forces encouraged these games? Isn't this a criminal conspiracy."
Meanwhile, BJP leader Amit Malviya informed that the decision was taken on January 31, much before any WHO's guidelines came. Last week, the government had banned the export of certain ventilators, surgical and disposable masks and textile raw material used for making masks.
"The government of India had banned the export of N95 masks, body overalls and 2-3 ply masks on 31 Jan itself, much before any WHO advisory. N95 respirators and body overalls being the most critical personal protective gear for COVID-19, haven't been allowed to be exported since," Malviya tweeted.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, there is a huge shortage of hand sanitisers and face masks in the market as people resorted to panic buying.
(With agency inputs)