Egypt restricts export of medical oxygen for a year

Special A patient who has recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) donates her plasma for research purposes, at the National Blood Transfusion Services in Cairo, Egypt. (REUTERS file photo)
A patient who has recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) donates her plasma for research purposes, at the National Blood Transfusion Services in Cairo, Egypt. (REUTERS file photo)
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Updated 19 July 2021

Egypt restricts export of medical oxygen for a year

A patient who has recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) donates her plasma for research purposes, at the National Blood Transfusion Services in Cairo, Egypt. (REUTERS file photo)
  • Egypt has 43 oxygen-producing companies and their combined production capacity is 9 million cubic meters, most of which is supplied to hospitals that contract with factories in Egypt

CAIRO: The Egyptian government has banned the export of medical oxygen outside the country for a year.

The move follows a memorandum submitted by Health and Population Minister Hala Zayed.

Medical oxygen can now be exported only after approval from the health and population minister as per a decision issued by Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Nevin Gamea.

This came according to Resolution No. 321 of 2021 published in the Egyptian Gazette in its issue No. 158 of 2021 on Friday.

The trade and industry minister’s decision comes in light of the memorandum submitted by the health minister.

It included the request to permit export of oxygen only with written approval from the Ministry of Health and Population.

The decision will be implemented for a year, starting from July 15.

Last September, Gamea allowed the export of alcohol of all kinds and its derivatives, as well as surgical masks and supplies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to all foreign markets.

BACKGROUND

The trade and industry minister’s decision comes in light of the memorandum submitted by the health minister.

This was until Ministerial Resolution No. 186 of 2020 to stop the export of alcohol and its derivatives, and Ministerial Resolution No. 187 of 2020, to stop the export of surgical masks and COVID-19 prevention supplies.

Egypt has 43 oxygen-producing companies and their combined production capacity is 9 million cubic meters, most of which is supplied to hospitals that contract with factories in Egypt.

Medical oxygen is supplied to hospitals either as a liquid, collected in tanks and separated in the hospital, and converted into steam, or it is packaged in cylinders and supplied in a gas form directly to hospitals.