Govt Lifts Ban on Export of Ventilators as the Domestic Production IncreasesAugust 05, 2020 12:01
(Image source from: cnbctv18.com)
A ban was imposed on exports of ventilators in March 2020 to ensure domestic availability in the challenging times of COVID-19.
The central government on Tuesday lifted the ban on exporting ventilators to other countries four months after it has stopped exporting all kinds of ventilators to ensure domestic availability amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification that all kinds of ventilators including artificial respiratory apparatus, oxygen therapy apparatus or any other kind of breathing device or appliance can now be exported from India.
The ban on exports was imposed from March 24 to make sure India does not fall on shortage of ventilators for the needy.
Earlier on August 1, the group of ministers for COVID-19 had given a nod to the proposal raised by the ministry of health and family welfare on exporting the ventilators that are made in India from August.
At present, there are more than 20 manufacturers in India who are developing all types of ventilators.
In the media briefing on Tuesday, August 4, Raj Bhushan, the Secretary of ministry of health said that out of the 60,000 ventilators ordered by the Union government, 95% of the ventilators were made in India ventilators by volume and 90% by value.
He also said that Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Andhra Med-Tech Zone (AMTZ) had played a major role in producing the ventilators indigenously in India.
Indian domestic industry and Indian innovators along with the Indian government had successfully started manufactured Made-in-India ventilators that could effectively treat COVID-19 patients and can be used for further use in hospitals too.
Rajesh Bhushan added that in 2019, the ventilator market of India was 8510 units which is roughly Rs. 440 crores. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, domestic manufacturers had to import components of the ventilators like sensors, control valves, turbines, and pressure transducers. It would have been difficult to manage the crisis caused due to COVID had India not imported these parts.
Bhushan also said that out of the 60,000 ventilators made in India, 50,000 are being funded from PM Cares Fund which entails a monetary value of Rs. 2000 crores. He briefed that more than 18,000 ventilators have been supplied to different states and Union territories of the country, central and state government hospitals and DRDO facilities.
Initially, ventilators were not the regulated medical devices in the country and neither they were under the Bureau of Indian Standards certification.
However, technical experts under the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) have prescribed minimum essential specifications for basic ICU ventilators to be used for COVID-19 services.
Now, as the domestic manufacturing of the ventilators had begun, India can start exporting ventilators to other countries in need of them.
By Gayatri Yellayi