Antimalarial drugs, Tyvek suits export allowed

Updated 16 Sep 2020

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The production capacity of PPE items has increased considerably in Pakistan and the country is now exporting these goods despite being an importer initially. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File
The production capacity of PPE items has increased considerably in Pakistan and the country is now exporting these goods despite being an importer initially. — Photo by Muhammad Asim/File

ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday lifted the ban on exports of Tyvek suits and antimalarial drugs including Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.

With the lifting of ban on Tyvek suits, exports of all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items are permitted.

In a statement, the Ministry of Commerce said the decision was undertaken in the Cabinet meeting on a summary initiated by the ministry.

At the beginning of Covid-19 outbreak in Pakistan in March 2020, the Cabinet imposed a ban on the export of various PPE items as well as the antimalarial drugs which were being used as a part of treatment for coronavirus.

The Cabinet also constituted a committee — led by Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood and represented by all the relevant stakeholders — to oversee the stock positions of various PPE items and share their recommendations regarding exports of these items.

Afterwards, the exports of all Covid-19 related materials were given under the mandate of the committee by the National Command Operation Centre. The committee has been holding regular meetings and based on its recommendations, the ban on all the items, except the Tyvek Suits, was lifted in the Cabinet meetings held on June 6 and August 18.

The Ministry of National Health Services conveyed the decision of the 33rd meeting of the Policy Board of Drugs Regulatory Authority Pakistan held on August 17 for consideration of lifting ban on export of all antimalaria drugs.

The committee constituted by the Cabinet will continue to monitor the stock positions and requirements in the country.

It is also pertinent to mention that because of the initiative of the government, the production capacity of PPE items has increased considerably in Pakistan and the country is now exporting these goods despite being an importer initially.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020