The Drug Regulatory of Pakistan (Drap) has allowed the export of respiratory masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
The CEO of Drap, Dr. Asim Rauf has claimed that the export is being allowed after special request from the Chinese embassy due to the current outbreak of Coronavirus.
The document has apparently banned export of respiratory (N95) masks, goggles or face shields, disposable gloves, disposable gowns and so on, on 30th January.
According to the document, the ban has been imposed due to the virus, with strict action against the violators should the articles actually be exported.
On the 8th February, as many as five companies were given permission to export the equipment and written directions regarding the relaxation of the rules were issued.
An anonymous official of Drap, said that health experts have expressed astonishment over the decision.
‘Ban on exports have been imposed as the masks were in high demand across the country due to panic triggered by the NCV outbreak in China and its spread in some other countries, and the toxic gas leak in Karachi’s Keamari, which has claimed a number of lives.
‘Drap had to conduct a raid against the sale of masks in black but later on it allowed their export,’ the Drap official stated.
However, the Drap CEO Dr. Rauf said the ban was imposed to ensure the availability of masks in Pakistan, later lifting the ban due to the special request made by the Chinese embassy.
‘We have allowed export of masks and other equipment due to close relationships with China. However, we have sufficient stock of the equipment. Moreover, we have offered companies to manufacture equipment in Pakistan and licences would be issued without any delay in this regard. Companies can start exporting the equipment after manufacturing because there is huge demand for such equipment abroad,’ Dr. Rauf stated.
For more information, please read the full press release here.