A ban on exports of protective gear, including clothing and respiratory masks essential for protection against air-borne diseases, to China, was imposed on Friday.
The move comes at a time when the global numbers for the coronavirus infection are on the rise, with 22 countries reporting confirmed cases, and an outbreak within the country would require the aforementioned equipment. However, no reason was provided for the ban.
"Exports of all varieties of personal protection equipment including clothing and masks used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and/or any other respiratory masks or any other personal protective clothing (including coveralls and N95 masks)...is hereby prohibited with immediate effect till further orders," the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
The move comes shortly after the first reported case
India reported it's first confirmed coronavirus case on Thursday in the Thrissur District, in the southern state of Kerala. The Indian national is a student at Wuhan University in Wuhan China--the epicenter of the outbreak. She is being kept under quarantine and observation and is said to be in a stable condition. Also, the number of people under observation in the state increased to 1,053.
Indians being airlifted from Wuhan
A jumbo B747 plane belonging to the carrier, Air India, evacuated 324 Indians from Wuhan. Officials said that the plane landed in Delhi at 7:30 am and had five doctors from Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and a paramedic accompanying the Indian nationals. Three minors, 110 working professionals and 211 students were part of the 324 passengers ferried from China.
The passengers who arrived in Delhi are being processed for the infection and kept under observation at two centres near Delhi: A Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp, in Chawla and another at Manesar, managed by the Armed Forces Medical Services. Air India has announced that another flight with a different crew will be sent to Wuhan to retrieve the remaining Indian Citizens.
(With inputs from agencies)