Coronavirus: Turkey lifts ban on export of medical equipment

Employees of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality youth center sews face masks, in Ankara, Turkey, on April 28, 2020. (AFP)

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, incubators 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 authorization from the Turkish government, with permission given sparingly.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

"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.

Read more: Coronavirus: Quarantine site in Syria's northwest curbs spread from Turkey

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.

Turkey has recorded more than 3,300 COVID-19 deaths with nearly 125,000 infections.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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