India permits export of some medical gears to China to combat coronavirus

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India has cleared some consignments of medical gear placed by China to combat the deadly coronavirus after setting aside export bans on all kinds of personal protection equipment, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said here on Monday.

The decision came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to President Xi Jinping offering solidarity and assistance to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in China that has claimed over 900 lives.

In the letter to Xi, Modi expressed solidarity with the president and people of China over the outbreak of the virus that has also infected over 40,000 people.

Prime Minister Modi also offered India's assistance to China to face the challenge, besides conveying condolences over the loss of lives due to the outbreak.

On January 31, India banned exports of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air borne particles.

However, some of the protective clothing and personal protection equipment like masks have been cleared for exports to China setting aside the ban on some of them, Misri said.

The embassy is in touch with the Chinese authorities about the assistance required, Misri told PTI here.

Misri said China has placed big orders to import some of the medical gear required to deal with the coronavirus attack.

Exports of some of the medical gear has been banned by India, considering India's own requirements as it is also preparing to combat its major outbreak in the country.

A special screening committee of officials is meeting on daily bases to review the restrictions on the export of medical equipment which is in demand as many countries stepped up efforts to prepare to combat the outbreak of the virus in their countries, Misiri said.

Since the outbreak was reported came to limelight, China which had deployed thousands of medical personnel in virus hit Wuhan city and Hubei province has been saying that it needed large consignments of gloves, protection equipment etc for those deployed in the hospitals besides the security personnel.

Such equipment has been exported by Japan, the US and the EU.

India too has delivered a number of boxes of such equipment through the second special Air India flight sent to evacuate 647 Indian nationals held up in Wuhan and Hubei provinces, Misri said.

The death toll in China's coronavirus outbreak has gone up to 908 with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province and the confirmed cases of infection crossing 40,000, Chinese health officials said on Monday.

A team of international experts led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected in China on Monday to assist the Chinese health officials to contain the spread of coronavirus outbreak.

The WHO has declared the recent novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic affecting 23 countries as an International Public Health Emergency of international concern.

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