IMF tells countries to avoid putting restrictions on export of medical supplies

Updated - April 15, 2020 12:03 pm IST

Published - April 15, 2020 11:45 am IST - Washington

A view of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building, in Washington./ File

A view of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building, in Washington./ File

The IMF has called on all countries to refrain from putting restrictions on exporting medical supplies in view of their massive requirement across the globe to combat the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed at least 119,000 people and infected nearly two million.

IMF chief economist, Gita Gopinath, told reporters here, “We call on all countries to refrain from putting restrictions on exporting medical supplies. It is really essential, and this is the one, you know, one of the many areas where global cooperation is necessary. This is not a time to restriction the trade of medical supplies and essential equipment around the world.”

 

Also read: IMF projects 1.9% growth for India in 2020

 

Addressing a news conference at the IMF headquarters here ahead of the annual spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, Ms. Gopinath said that these are difficult times in terms of globalisation for dealing with this pandemic.

There has been a restriction on travel of people around the globe. Because of the fact that people cannot go to work, the factories, there has been a breakdown of global supply chains, so this is a result of this crisis that we have seen, she said.

 

Also read: Is the global economy headed for recession?

 

But it is very important that this does not become a feature where we reverse all the gains that we have got from globalisation, the IMF Chief Economist said.

Now, the world needs a healthy recovery, it needs a strong recovery, and that will not come about if the world de-globalises because that would severely reduce productivity in the world and that’s the last thing that we want at this time, Ms. Gopinath said in response to a question.

The CNN reported that in the race to secure medical supplies, countries ban or restrict exports. On March 6, Siare Engineering, Italy’s only ventilator producer, said all its production is reserved for domestic use after directions from the government.

The European Union on March 15 announced that it was restricting exports of personal protective equipment, including face shields, surgical masks and gowns.

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