With COVID-19 infections in control, the centre has removed export curbs on all COVID-19 diagnostic kits and reagents. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), in a notification, said the export policy of all diagnostic kits and reagents (including instruments and apparatus) is being made free with immediate effect.
The government had imposed export restrictions on diagnostic kits and reagents in June 2020 and August 16, 2021 to meet the domestic needs amid increasing COVID-19 cases. 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 reagent testing kits.
The health ministry, in a letter to the DGFT, had suggested free export of such products. The recommendations are based on deliberations in a meeting of the related Empowered Group-6 in September. Besides, the directorate has also removed ban on exports of melt blown fabric of any GSM, used in air filtration equipment, mask materials and liquid filtering materials.
There has been a noted decline in COVID-19 cases across the country. According to the Union Health Ministry data, India registered 16,862 new COVID infections on Friday, taking the total tally to 3,40,37,592. Active COVID-19 cases in the country declined to 2,03,678 – the lowest in 216 days. The ministry said active cases comprise 0.60% of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.07% – the highest since March 2020. The death toll climbed to 4,51,814 with 379 fresh fatalities.
The daily rise in new COVID cases has been below 30,000 for 21 straight in a row, and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 110 consecutive days now. Furthermore, the cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 97.14 crore.