The Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD), has urged P D Vaghela, pharma sectary and chairman of the empowered committee of essential medical equipment to open up exports of surgical three-layer masks and N95 respirator masks as the country now has a surplus capacity.
In his letter, Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator, AiMeD wrote manufacturers of these masks have been either stopping or slowing down their production since the last 15-20 days as they have unsold inventory amid falling demand. The prices of these masks are also falling as clients in public and private health care prefer to buy lower cost 2 and 3 layer masks or non-standard quality without nose clip.
India had banned the export of all kinds of masks in March. In mid May, however, the director general of foreign trade allowed the exports of non-medical category masks like those made of cotton, silk, wool and knitted materials. The industry said the government needs to stress on proper certifications for masks and other protective gear as export of sub-standard quality products can earn a bad name. The final decision on this is expected within a next few days.