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Making for the world: India allows export of N95, FFP2 masks

Industries and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said this will spur economic growth and employment while helping the world battle COVID-19

October 07, 2020 / 10:40 AM IST

The Centre on October 6 revised its policy imposing curbs on the export of personal protective equipment such as N95 and FFP2 masks. This was notified by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and confirmed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

"The export policy of N-95 masks or FFP-2 masks or its equivalent is amended from restricted to free category making all types of masks freely exportable," the notification read.

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Goyal, meanwhile, took to Twitter to share the news, posting: “India is Making for the World: N95 & FFP2 Masks can now be exported freely to countries across the world. Make in India is spurring economic growth and employment while helping the world battle COVID-19.”

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Welcoming the decision, apparel exporters body AEPC said that the government's decision to remove export curbs on N-95 masks will open up global markets for Indian players engaged in the sector.

"This move will increase India's exports by Rs 1,000 crore annually. The country will now be able to bag export orders worth crore of rupees in this huge business opportunity. Annual export of all the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits including N-95 masks could be around Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore, chairman of the AEPC Sakthivel said in a statement.

Both N95 and FFP2 masks are in demand due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Centre had in an earlier notification banned the export of the products to ensure sufficient domestic supply.

Per the previous order, exporters had to seek government licence to ship these masks to foreign markets or buyers. Later in August the Centre fixed an export eligibility cap of 50 lakh units.

Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 7, 2020 10:40 am

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