After sanitizers and disinfectants, Pakistan is going to export PPE, Fawad Chaudhry

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After exporting textile masks, sanitizers and disinfectants, Pakistan is going to export the PPE amid the global economic recession. Analysts believe that despite opposition’s criticism, this marks the incumbent government’s victory in the fight against COVID-19.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Friday the Pakistan is going to export PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). “This week ban on exports of PPE’s [wi]ll be completely lifted and Pakistani manufactures [wi]ll be able to export COVID 19 related material to the world, this trade ll help Pak immensely,” he tweeted.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood a day earlier revealed he has received information that some exporters have obtained large orders for face masks from the international market.

“I have received information that some exporters have obtained large orders for face masks from US, Canada and Europe. This is a major breakthrough and I congratulate them for this achievement,” he tweeted. Hence, Pakistan is going to export PPE.

The adviser said it is part of the government’s strategy to “diversify into new segments and this has been achieved by the exporters through their own efforts. I’m sharing this information with others to encourage them to seek more orders from different parts of the world.”

Pakistan to export sanitizers and disinfectants

Recently, Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan is producing its own sanitizers and disinfectants and is now capable of exporting them. The decision to export sanitizers and disinfectants confirms that the government has adequately dealt with the rise of COVID-19.

Speaking at an event at COMSTECH, Ch said Pakistan faced a shortage of hand sanitizers in the first ten days of the detection of the first two cases of the novel coronavirus in the country. “We decided to manufacture face masks, hand sanitizers, and sanitizing walk-through gates,” he said.

The federal minister is known for his upright stance on several controversial issues. Last month, Fawad Chaudhry slammed Pakistani universities for not guiding the government, through any specialized research, about coronavirus, the disease that has affected more than 15, 000 people in the country.

He took to twitter and wrote that everywhere around the world, the universities were providing the guidelines to their governments through leading research and policy papers but not Pakistani universities. But the latest announcement to export sanitizers and disinfectants is welcome move.

Earlier, he said that Pakistan Science Foundation would launch a study today to find out which human gender group is more prone to attract coronavirus and which is surviving the pandemic.

Govt to export textile masks?

Recently, the government decided to lift the ban on the export of textile masks and sanitizers. Razak Dawood, advisor to the Prime Minister, announced the decision. This was decided in a meeting of the National Command and Opera­tion Centre (NCOC), working under the Nati­onal Coordination Committee. He stated the decision will help boost the country’s exports by meeting the demand for these products within the international market.

On the 31st of January, a ban was imposed on several items: do not export sanitizers and disinfectants,  face masks and hand gloves as ‘a primary precautionary measure’ and to ensure availability of ‘sufficient basic first aid material’ due to the pandemic.

The export of all types of surgical masks and sanitizers was banned at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Though there was no export ban on washable cloth masks, mainly used as anti-dusk pollution masks, but customs authorities were not allowing such exports. But now Pakistan is going to export PPE to expand its outreach in the international market.

The adviser said that the commerce ministry will issue further clarification with reference to the export of the products. He reiterated that surgical masks and N-95 masks which are in short supply within the local market, will not be exported.

Although Pakistan is going to export PPE yet Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYPA) has recently submitted an application to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in which they alleged that 20 million face masks were smuggled out of Pakistan in connivance with government officials.

As Pakistan is going to export PPE, according to a circular No ADG(N)/12(21/2020/1101-02 (Dated 10-3-2020), Hassan Ali in-charge of Complaint Cell Additional Director General (North) Office, informed The Director FIA (Islamabad Zone) that a self-explanatory application has been received alleging that “20 million face masks were smuggled out of the country by the aide of Ghazanfar Ali Khan s/o Maqbool Khan, Deputy Director of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister.” Notably, the export of any health product requires a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the DRAP.

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