Govt lifts export ban on diagnostic kits, reagents

New Delhi: With COVID-19 cases declining in the country, the government on Friday lifted export restrictions on all diagnostic kits and equipment, including reagents, that are used to detect coronavirus infection. India recorded 16,862 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,40,37,592, while active cases declined to 2,03,678, according to data updated by the Union Health Ministry on Friday. Which is the lowest in 216 days. The death toll rose to 4,51,814 with 379 fresh deaths.

The daily increase in new coronavirus infections has been less than 30,000 for 21 consecutive days and less than 50,000 daily new cases for 110 consecutive days.

“The export policy of all diagnostic kits and reagents (including instruments/equipment) is being exempted with immediate effect,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

DGFT is a branch of the Ministry of Commerce that deals with export and import norms.

The export restrictions on these products were imposed in June last year and on August 16, 2021 due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. An exporter has to obtain a license or permission from the government to export goods falling under the restricted category.

Diagnostic kits and reagents include RT-PCR kits and reagents, RNA extraction kits and reagents, synthetic fiber swabs, protein K, magnetic stands, beads and COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits.

In a separate notification, the DGFT modified its earlier decision of October 4 with regard to export of syringes with or without needles.

It was earlier kept in the restricted category for export purposes, but now there will be restrictions only for syringes of certain denominations.

Further, in another notification, the directorate lifted the ban on export of melt-blown fabric of any GSM used in air filtration equipment, mask material and liquid filtering material.

“The melt-blown fabric of any GSM is made freely exportable with immediate effect,” it said.

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