Iran bans export of medical grade oxygen amid new coronavirus surge

Iran’s customs administration has imposed a ban on exports of medical grade bulk oxygen and other gases needed in hospitals to deal with a new surge in the coronavirus pandemic.

1 August 2020
ID : 22498
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Iran's customs administration has imposed a ban on exports of medical grade bulk oxygen and other gases needed in hospitals to deal with a new surge in the coronavirus pandemic.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) spokesman said that the ban had been enacted by Iran's ministry of industries, mining and trade (MIMT) in response to a request earlier this week by Iran’s Food and Drug Organization.

Rouhollah Latifi said the ban could help overcome a shortage of medical oxygen and medical and industrial gases in hospitals across Iran as they are coping with increasing numbers of patients infected with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Iran, under a series of American sanctions since 2018, has largely relied on local industries to fight the pandemic since it began in the country in late February.

Manufacturers have been able to export their surplus products to other countries although there have been some brief curbs on shipments involving certain drugs and medical equipment.

Iran's ministry of industries, mining and trade lifted a ban on the export of serology kits, surgical-medical gowns, face shields and N95 facemasks in early July following the considerable surge in the manufacturing of medical supplied by domestic producers.

Iran has been the hardest hit country in the Middle East by the pandemic. Iran’s health ministry said on Friday that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases had surged by 2,674 to reach a total of 304,204.

A total of 16,766 patients have died from the virus, including 197 people over the past 24 hours, while there has been 263,519 recoveries, showed figures provided by the ministry.

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