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Government removes export curbs on all diagnostic kits, reagents

With COVID-19 cases coming down in the country, the government on Friday removed export curbs on all diagnostic kits and reagents including instruments, which are used in the detection of coronavirus infections.

India logged 16,862 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,40,37,592, while the active cases declined to 2,03,678, the lowest in 216 days, according to the union health ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll climbed to 4,51,814 with 379 fresh fatalities.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 30,000 for 21 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 110 consecutive days now.

“The export policy of all diagnostic kits and reagents (including instruments /apparatus) is being made free with immediate effect,” the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

The DGFT is an arm of the commerce ministry which deals with export and import related norms. The export restrictions on these products were imposed in June last year and August 16, 2021, on account of increasing COVID-19 cases.

An exporter has to seek licence or permission from the government for exports of goods that are under a restricted category. Diagnostic kits and reagents include RT-PCR kits and reagents, RNA extraction kits and reagents, synthetic fibre swabs, Proteinase K, magnetic stand, beads, and COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits.

In a separate notification, the DGFT revised its earlier decision of October 4 with regard to the export of syringes with or without needles. It was earlier put under the restricted category for export purposes, but now the curbs would be there for only certain denominations of syringes.

Further, in another notification, the directorate removed a ban on exports of melt-blown fabric of any GSM, used in air filtration equipment, mask materials and liquid filtering materials. “The melt-blown fabric of any GSM has been made freely exportable with immediate effect,” it said. PTI