Turkey lifts ban on export of medical equipment to fight virus

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ISTANBUL: Turkey on Saturday lifted restrictions on the export of medical supplies, a move that should facilitate the sale of equipment to western countries where there have been shortages.

The Commerce Ministry lifted the restrictions on the sale abroad of respirators, intubators and disinfectants such as ethanol, according to a decree published in the official journal. Previously the sale of such supplies was either prohibited or subject to a requirement to obtain authorisation from the Turkish government, with permission given sparingly.

“These restrictions were put in place temporarily in response to the pandemic. The decision to allow exports reflects… Turkey´s growing capacity to contain the coronavirus,” a presidential official told foreign media.

The lifting of the restrictions represents an opportunity for Turkish companies which have considerably increased their production capacities since the start of the pandemic, at a time when many countries are still struggling to obtain adequate supplies of medical equipment. Unlike other countries, Turkey has no shortage of respirators or masks.

Ankara, which has been playing the diplomatic card on medical aid since the start of the crisis, sent a military plane full of equipment to Somalia on Saturday, the Defence ministry said.

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