You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

Some restrictions imposed on export of medical equipment to China: MEA

Last week, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong urged India to review restrictions on trade and movement of people

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


India on Sunday said some restrictions were imposed on export of certain medical equipment to in view of their short supply within the country and asserted that precautions taken by authorities were in accordance with the WHO's advisory on

The comments by the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs came after raised the issue of India restricting export of certain medical supplies to it following the epidemic in that country.

"It is hoped that the Indian side could review the epidemic situation in an objective, rational and calm manner, handle with China's much-needed items in a cooperative and constructive way, and resume normal personnel exchanges and trade between our two countries as soon as possible," Chinese Embassy Spokesperson Ji Rong said earlier.

She said the has repeatedly opposed any travel and on following the outbreak and that all parties should follow the recommendations by the global body.

Replying to a query on the issue, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the precautions taken by India are in accordance with the WHO's advisory about the outbreak of coronavirus infection.

He said some restrictions have been imposed on the export of certain medical equipment to China in view of shortage of their supply in India too.

"Just like any other country, India with a billion plus population has the responsibility to take the necessary measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak which, if not properly managed, can become a global risk," he said.

He said that responding to the needs of China, India had allowed a one time exemption for the export of some items which had been restricted.

The MEA spokesperson also mentioned about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, offering India's assistance to China in the "hour of need".

Kumar also referred to India's decision to send medical relief on board a special flight to China and hoped that the Chinese authorities will give permission for the aircraft to go to the country.

"In a humanitarian gesture of medical relief, a gift reflecting the solidarity of the people of India with the people of China, is expected to be delivered to Wuhan by a special flight," he said.

"We have also called upon the Chinese authorities to allow Indian citizens and those of our neighbouring countries to return by the same flight. We hope that they will give it positive consideration," Kumar said.

On Saturday, government sources said that China was "deliberately delaying" permission for the Indian Air Force plane to coronavirus-hit Wuhan to supply relief materials and bring back more Indians from the city.

They said though flights from Japan, Ukraine and France were allowed to operate from Wuhan, Indian request was not heeded to so far.

Last week, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong urged India to review restrictions on trade and movement of people.

Almost all Indian airlines have stopped flights to China while the government has cancelled all e-visas as well as normal visas issued to Chinese citizens.

India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, in two separate flights. According to estimates, over 100 Indians are still stuck in Wuhan.

First Published: Sun, February 23 2020. 22:28 IST