In the latest development, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday Pakistan is producing its own sanitizers and disinfectants and is now capable of exporting them. The decision to export sanitizers and disinfectants confirms that the government has adequately dealt with the rise of COVID-19.
Giving a briefing to PM @ImranKhanPTI , Minister of Science &Technology @fawadchaudhry said Pakistan Council of Scientific&Industrial Research is manufacturing hand sanitizers,disinfectants&can export these@PakPMO @ndmapk #coronavirusinpakistan https://t.co/9hj8s3O1vt pic.twitter.com/8JkFrCofUh
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) April 30, 2020
Speaking at an event at COMSTECH, Ch said Pakistan faced a shortage of hand sanitizers in the first ten days of the detection of the first two cases of the novel coronavirus in the country. “We decided to manufacture face masks, hand sanitizers, and sanitizing walk-through gates,” he said.
The minister said the country is producing its own sanitizers and disinfectants today and is in a position to export them. He added a committee was also set up to look into ways and means to manufacture Covid-19 testing kits.
The federal minister is known for his upright stance on several controversial issues. Last month, Fawad Chaudhry slammed Pakistani universities for not guiding the government, through any specialized research, about coronavirus, the disease that has affected more than 15, 000 people in the country.
He took to twitter and wrote that everywhere around the world, the universities were providing the guidelines to their governments through leading research and policy papers but not Pakistani universities. But the latest announcement to export sanitizers and disinfectants is welcome move.
Where are Pak Universities? Everywhere in the world Universities are providing guideline to the Govts through leading reserach and policy papers,why Pak Unis are silent spectators? We need to up the game…Vc’s must initiate reserach..up the game guys #coronavirusinpakistan
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 28, 2020
Earlier, he said that Pakistan Science Foundation would launch a study today to find out which human gender group is more prone to attract coronavirus and which is surviving the pandemic.
Govt to export textile masks
Recently, the government decided to lift the ban on the export of textile masks and sanitizers. Razak Dawood, advisor to the Prime Minister, announced the decision. This was decided in a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), working under the National Coordination Committee. He stated the decision will help boost the country’s exports by meeting the demand for these products within the international market.
On the 31st of January, a ban was imposed on several items: do not export sanitizers and disinfectants, face masks and hand gloves as ‘a primary precautionary measure’ and to ensure availability of ‘sufficient basic first aid material’ due to the pandemic.
The export of all types of surgical masks and sanitizers was banned at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Though there was no export ban on washable cloth masks, mainly used as anti-dusk pollution masks, but customs authorities were not allowing such exports.
The adviser said that the commerce ministry will issue further clarification with reference to the export of the products. He reiterated that surgical masks and N-95 masks which are in short supply within the local market, will not be exported.
It is worth noting that Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association (PYPA) has recently submitted an application to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in which they alleged that 20 million face masks were smuggled out of Pakistan in connivance with government officials.
According to a circular No ADG(N)/12(21/2020/1101-02 (Dated 10-3-2020), Hassan Ali in-charge of Complaint Cell Additional Director General (North) Office, informed The Director FIA (Islamabad Zone) that a self-explanatory application has been received alleging that “20 million face masks were smuggled out of the country by the aide of Ghazanfar Ali Khan s/o Maqbool Khan, Deputy Director of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister.” Notably, the export of any health product requires a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the DRAP.