Cabinet approves export of N95, surgical masks

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced through his Twitter page on Tuesday that the government had agreed to allow export of N95 and surgical masks.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, orders worth $100 million for export of personal protective equipment (PPE) made in Pakistan have been received from around the world, particularly Europe. It was also informed that Pakistan is expecting to receive orders for such equipment worth $500m by the end of this year.

“When the first Covid-19 case was detected in Pakistan on Feb 26, we were importing all PPE items. These [masks] were the last items on the list whose exports were banned. Today, Alhamdulillah, Pakistan is becoming a major exporter of materials for protection against the coronavirus,” the minister said in a tweet.

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About three months ago, the local industry in Faisalabad had also started manufacturing N95 masks. “We are now producing masks, including N95, gloves, face shields, gowns and shoes cover for local hospitals, and even exporting them to other countries,” he said.

During a ministerial meeting last month, the government had sought an assessment report from the provinces and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to decide whether the export of locally manufactured N95 masks was viable. Fawad Chaudhry had said back then that many countries had shown interest in import of Covid-19 fighting equipment from Pakistan.

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