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Coronavirus death toll crosses 800, Modi writes to Xi offering help

Indian pharma firms are closely monitoring the outbreak as it could hit the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, if the situation does not improve soon

Agencies 

Coronavirus
Students are checked by body thermal scanners as a precautionary measure against the spread of a new virus at a school in Manila, Philippines, Friday. Photo: AP | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed to Chinese President India’s readiness to provide assistance, as the epidemic has killed 813 people and infected more than 37,000 in China as of February 9. In a letter to Xi, Modi expressed solidarity with the president and people of China over the outbreak of the virus, official sources said.

The Centre has removed surgical masks and gloves from a list of banned export items, according to a notification. “... items such as surgical masks/disposable masks and all gloves except NBR gloves are allowed freely for export,” the directorate general of foreign trade said. It, however, said export of other equipment accompanying masks and gloves shall remain prohibited for exports.

Indian pharma firms are closely monitoring the outbreak as it could hit the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, if the situation does not improve soon. “The Centre is working in an integrated way to deal with the situation,” said Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Secretary General Sudarshan Jain.

In another development, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation stopped pre-flight breathalyser (BA) tests for crew operating out of Kerala’s four airports — Calicut, Kannur, Trivandrum, and Cochin — during the next 15 days. However, the crew departing from these airports will compulsorily undergo post-flight tests at the city where they land.

China’s finance ministry said on Sunday the government had allocated $10.26 billion to fight the China’s central bank said it would offer a $43-billion boost next week to help businesses involved in fighting the virus. Hong Kong businesses are set to benefit from over $3.9 billion in liquidity relief offered by HSBC Holdings to support firms as the deadly weighs on the economy.

First Published: Mon, February 10 2020. 01:36 IST
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