Partially relaxing export norms, the government on Monday permitted shipments of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) medical coveralls for COVID-19 with a monthly export quota of 50 lakh units.
The product was banned for export earlier, but it has now been moved to the restricted category.
In a notification, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said: "A monthly quota of 50 lakh PPE medical coverall for COVID-19 units has been fixed for issuance of export licence to the eligible applicants to export PPE medical coveralls for COVID-19 as per the criteria to be separately issued in a trade notice".
All other items that are part of PPE kits continue to remain prohibited, it said.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.