Centre lifts export ban on all ventilators after more than four-month halt

The Centre on Tuesday lifted the export ban on all ventilators to push the outbound shipments of the product, more than four months after it had imposed a curb amid rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases. In a notification, the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) said, “All ventilators including any artificial respiratory apparatus or oxygen therapy apparatus or any other breathing appliance/device are made free for export.”

The ban was imposed on March 24 to ensure domestic availability to fight COVID-19 pandemic. On August 1, the group of ministers on COVID-19 had considered and agreed to the proposal of the Ministry of Health to allow the export of made-in-India ventilators.

An official statement, issued on August 1, has said that this decision came on the heels of India continuing to maintain a progressively declining low rate of case fatality of COVID-19 patients, which means that fewer numbers of active cases are on ventilators.

Additionally, there has been substantial growth in the domestic manufacturing capacity of ventilators. Presently, there are more than 20 domestic manufacturers for ventilators.