Amid the scare caused by the novel coronavirus disease, the central government has prohibited the export of all varieties of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks, with immediate effects.

“Export of all varieties of personal protection equipment including clothing and masks used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and/or any other respiratory masks or any other personal protective clothing [including coveralls (class 2/3/4) and N95 masks] is prohibited with immediate effect till further orders,” the notification by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Friday read.

The Centre has made amendments with immediate effect in Schedule 2 of the ITC (HS) Export policy 2018 for prohibiting the export of the goods.

Earlier, manufacturers in India had increased the production of the N95 masks in order to meet the high demand from China and domestic users.

The first case of a novel coronavirus in India was reported from Kerala, the Union Health ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The symptoms reported in patients with nCoV include acute onset of fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing.

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