The Union government on Wednesday banned the export of alcohol-based hand sanitisers to other nations that are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.“Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are prohibited for export,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) that comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a notification.
This move by the government is meant to boost availability of hand sanitisers in the domestic market amid the outbreak of the infectious Covid-19 disease. Sanitisers play an important role in the fight against the deadly infection and are used as a disinfectant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Hand sanitisers were one of the first products to be sold out at retail outlets across the country as the coronavirus infection started spreading in March. Sanitisers of reputed companies are not available in the market till date due to the extended lockdown and several gaps in the supply chain.
Multiple reports of people drinking sanitisers due to the high alcohol content have also emerged across different parts in India. Last month, a 29-year-old research student died in Hoysala Nagar of Dharwad district in Karnataka after consuming a mixture of sanitiser and cough syrup as he was unable to get liquor.
Police personnel and health officials have repeatedly appealed to people not to consume sanitisers or syrups. But addicted people who are unable to get access to liquor during the nationwide lockdown, have taken to consuming all kinds of substances, which included hand sanitisers and some of them have been resulted in deaths too.