Govt banned export of N95 masks on Jan 31: Amit Malviya

Govt banned export of N95 masks, body overalls on Jan 31: BJP's Amit Malviya, body overalls on January 31: BJP's Amit Malviya

Rebutting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's charge that the Modi government delayed banning export of medical equipment linked to combating coronavirus, BJP leader Amit Malviya on Monday said the decision was taken on January 31, much before any WHO advisory came.

He also shared on Twitter a textile ministry statement which gave details of the decisions taken by it in coordination with the health ministry.

"The government of India had banned export of N95 masks, body overalls and 2-3 ply masks on 31 Jan itself, much before any WHO advisory. N95 respirators and body overalls being the most critical personal protective gear for COVID-19, haven't been allowed to be exported since," Malviya, BJP IT cell in-charge, tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of delaying its decision to ban the export of life-saving equipment like ventilators amid the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting a "criminal conspiracy".

The Congress MP also tagged a news report which claimed that India did not stockpile coronavirus protective equipment for health workers despite WHO guidelines in this regard.