ISLAMABAD-The federal government on Tuesday has lifted ban on the export of Tyvek Suits and the anti-malarial drugs: Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine which are being used as a part of COVID-19 treatment around the world.

“The Federal Cabinet, in its meeting held on Tuesday, has lifted the ban on export of Tyvek Suits, the last of the banned PPE items in wake of COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the anti-malarial drugs, including Chloroquine & Hydroxychloroquine, which are being used as a part of COVID-19 treatment around the world,” said Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Twitter.

He said that this has been possible because of our Government’s efforts to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 in the country, as well as our industry, which has been able to adjust according to the new opportunities amid the outbreak The notifications, in this regard, will be out in a few days, he added. The ministry of commerce has presented the summary in federal cabinet for lifting ban on export of Tyvek Suits and the anti-malarial drugs:Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.  Now, with lifting of ban on Tyvek Suits, there is no ban on export of any of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items.

At the beginning of Covid outbreak in Pakistan in March 2020, the Federal Cabinet imposed a ban on the export of various items of Personal Protective Equipment as well as the anti-malarial drugs, which were being used as a part of treatment for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Federal Cabinet constituted a Committee, under the chairmanship of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, and represented by all the relevant stakeholders, to oversee the stock positions of various PPE items and make recommendations to the Cabinet regarding exports of these items. Afterwards, the export of all Covid-19 related materials were given under the mandate of the Committee by NCOC. 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 meetings of the Cabinet held on June 06, 2020 and August 18, 2020. The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, which was represented in the Committee constituted by the Cabinet, conveyed the decision of 33rd meeting of the Policy Board of Drugs Regulatory Authority (DRAP) held on August 17, 2020, for consideration of lifting ban on export of all anti-malaria drugs. The matter was also discussed in the Committee, which made recommendation on lifting of bans.

After the approval of the Cabinet for removing the ban on exports of PPE items as well as the anti-malarial 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, which is now exporting PPE despite being initially an importer for many of these items.