Coronavirus: Germany bans export of medical protective equipment

Coronavirus: Germany bans export of medical protective equipment
Wearing face masks to prevent disease and counter pollution is common in many Asian countries. Credit: Needpix.

Germany on Wednesday banned the export of protective medical equipment, including masks, as the outbreak of the new coronavirus is spreading with now more than 200 confirmed cases in the country, the authorities announced.

A decree "was published today" prohibiting "the export of medical protection equipment (masks, gloves, suits, etc.)", announced in a joint statement the Ministry of Health and the Interior.

It aims to prevent a shortage within the county as it deals with the spread of the virus.

Exceptions are only possible "under certain conditions", including for humanitarian aid, the crisis unit set up by the two ministries said.

The Situation in Germany

In Germany, 240 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in 15 of the 16 States, according to a report by the Robert Koch Institute, the federal authority for disease control.

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More than half of the cases are located in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the health minister announced today the purchase of one million protective masks for medical personnel.

The Hannover industrial fair, one of the biggest events in the sector with 200,000 visitors and 5,000 exhibitors expected, has been postponed due to the epidemic and is due to open on 13 July instead of 20 April, the organisers also said on Wednesday.

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