The Indian government has imposed export curbs on diagnostic kits with immediate effect. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has undertaken the move in a bid to ensure the availability of kits amid Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Announcing the export restrictions on the diagnostic kits, the DGFT said: “The export of diagnostic kits (diagnostic or laboratory reagents on a backing, preparation diagnostic or laboratory reagents) is restricted with immediate effect."
This essentially means that an exporter cannot export such kits directly. For any such export to happen, an export licence will have to be procured first.
The Indian government, on 19 March imposed restrictions on the exports of masks, ventilators, and raw materials used in the manufacture of masks.
Before that, the DGFT had prohibited the export of all personal protection equipment used by healthcare service providers to protest themselves from the disease. Between April 2019 and January 2020, India exported medical apparatus worth $2.8 billion.
Last week, Indian PM Narendra Modi announced a 21-day long lockdown to break the chain of infection of COVID-19.
Indian currently has 2,902 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 68 people have lost their lives to the infection, according to the latest data from the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry.