New Delhi: Group of Ministers (GoM) has approved the export of indigenously manufactured ventilators at their 19th meeting on COVID-19 on Friday, Union health ministry said in a statement.
“The Group of Ministers (GOM) on Covid-19 has considered and agreed to the proposal of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare allowing the export of made-in-India ventilators. This decision has been communicated to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for further needed action to facilitate the export of indigenously manufactured ventilators,” the statement said.
People in the know said that India now has the capacity to manufacture ventilators indigenously and export it to other countries.
“We now have at least a couple of dozen manufactures of ventilators in the country as opposed to a few some six months ago. The data before us suggests Covid-19 patients in India largely need oxygen therapy and not mechanical ventilation as much, and our case fatality rate is also very low, which is why in terms of demand and supply we are pretty comfortably placed. It opens up export avenues and that’s why the idea was discussed. Fortunately, everyone was on same page on this,” said a ministry official, who did not wish to be identified.
It may be recalled, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had prohibited ventilators’ export in March to ensure domestic availability of the machines to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
A notification was issued on March 24, prohibiting all types of ventilators for export. “…Now with export of ventilators having been allowed, it is hoped that domestic ventilators would be in a position to find new markets for Indian ventilators in foreign countries,” read the health ministry statement.