Traders willing to import COVID-19 test kits, but government fails to facilitate these imports  

KARACHI: Producers in U.S. and China have begun shipping 10-minute Test Kit for COVID-19 virus exposure, and local traders want to import these testing kits but government has not notified the regulatory framework and exemptions in this regard.

A trader said that the test kits, which are as easy to use as pregnancy test strips, are available in the international market and could be imported immediately. However, the federal government has not issued any Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) to facilitate these imports.

Trader said given the seriousness of corona pandemic in Pakistan, such an SRO should have been issued in advance. Diagnostic kits of all types for Corona have already been invented and traders want to import. It is important that government exempts these imports from the requirement of e-IForm and include COVID-19 test kits and vaccine in Special Classification Provision Chapter 99.

Moreover, COVID-19 test kits, vaccine and protective gear should be exempted of all taxes at all.

Pakistan is heading toward a coronavirus emergency, yet the response of PM Khan’s government has so far been unsatisfactory. Experts say the country could face a huge catastrophe if the authorities don’t act properly.

Experts say the coronavirus cases in Pakistan are steadily increasing, yet the authorities and the common people seem to be taking the issue lightly.

Imran Khan’s televised address to the nation on Tuesday was a proof of an apparent complacency, analysts say. Khan said the cases were likely to increase further but there was no need to panic. He also refused to impose a partial lockdown in major cities to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, officially called the SARS-COV-2.

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