Federal cabinet gives one-time permission to ‘import’ polio markers from India

The government previously decided to end all kinds of trade with India for the time being.

The federal cabinet gives one-time permission for the import of polio markers from India. The markers are used to mark the fingers of children after they are given the polio vaccine and are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

After India’s annexation of occupied Kashmir on August the 5th, the government decided to end all kinds of trade with India for the time being. However, a lot of medicines and raw materials are bought from India, so India’s pharmaceutical industry asked for the ban to be lifted to avoid a major crisis regarding medicines. Consequently, the government had to lift the ban on importing medicines and raw material from the neighboring country.

The National Coordinator of Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Dr. Rana Safdar explained that the markers were needed for marking fingers of children and were not toxic in any way possible.

“There are only two WHO pre-qualified manufacturers in the world, in India and China, which manufacture non-toxic markers as children can swallow the ink. Though the WHO procures markers for us and, has purchased markers from China in the past, there were issues with the quality of markers. We had lodged a complaint that the marks faded before the post-monitoring team’s visit,” Safdar said while talking to a local news source.

”The WHO had started procurement from India before the announcement of the ban had given the order for 800,000 markers to be manufactured, but the stock obviously could not be delivered because of the decision of the one-time lifting of the ban, we will get the markers. Meanwhile, the Chinese manufacturer has been contacted to provide us with quality markers,” he continued.

While answering a question, Dr. Safdar said that the stock would be sufficient for the next two nationwide polio campaigns.

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