EghtesadOnline: The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has lifted a ban on the export of serology kits, surgical-medical gowns, face shields and N95 facemasks.
Director General of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration's Export Affairs Division Ali Akbar Shamani has communicated the new directive to customs offices across the country.
Exports of protective medical items, including gloves, gowns and facemasks, as well as other materials, such as alcohol, scrubs, disinfectants, soaps and tissues, were banned as of early March when the country was struggling to meet the surging demand of domestic market driven by the spread of novel coronavirus.
The removal of the ban on above-mentioned products follows the considerable surge in the manufacturing of such essential medical items by domestic producers since the virus emerged in Iran in mid-February.
More than 79.6 million facemasks were produced in Iran since the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Data provided by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade show domestic facemask production has reached six million per day. The number revolved around 300,000 per day prior to the emergence of Covid-19.
The biggest facemask production unit in Southwest Asia, with a production capacity of 3,000 respiratory masks and 100,000 N95 masks per day, was launched in Alborz Province in April.
The ministry’s data also illustrates that 271.9 million pairs of rubber and medical gloves, 979,900 nursing uniforms, 453,400 laminated surgical gowns and 852,000 face shields were manufactured in the country during the period to keep up with the spiking demand for these items in the country.
The production of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) stood at 28.7 million liters during the period.
The industrial units also produced 24,900 tons of disinfectants and hand sanitizers, as well as 86.6 million alcohol pads during the same period.
In the wake of the rising cases of coronavirus infection in Iran, many industrial and petrochemical units have joined hands to raise ethanol output capacity to boost disinfectant production as a much-needed measure against the spread of coronavirus.
The Health Ministry is working with the industry to ensure production standards are fully met.
Since the US unilateral sanctions challenged Iran’s initial response to the pandemic, the country has taken a wide range of steps to assist domestic producers to supply rising demand so as to slash dependency on foreign sources.
According to Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari, Iran is now self-sufficient in producing the items needed for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 patients and has the capacity to produce 1 million cellulose-based test kits a day and 1.5 million PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based kits per month.
Local businesses have made such great progress in producing diagnostic test kits that omestic kits are being exported to foreign countries, he added.
The ban on the export of medical and hygienic products related to coronavirus was lifted in May.
Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, the head of Food and Drug Administration of Iran, said back then that several countries are willing to import products that are essential in the fight against the coronavirus, including N95 masks, personal protective equipment and disinfectants, from Iran.
The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade will facilitate the export of these products as well as other medical equipment and pharmaceuticals for which forex requirements are met via the secondary forex market, known by its Persian acronym Nima, he was quoted as saying by IRIB News.