India bans export of protective masks, clothing amid coronavirus outbreak

A Muslim wearing a mask prays for the victims of coronavirus at a mosque in Ahmedabad, India, January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Amit Dave

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Friday banned the export of personal protection equipment such as masks and clothing amid a global coronavirus outbreak.

It did not give a reason for the ban but it reported its first case of the new coronavirus on Thursday, a woman in the southern state of Kerala who was a student of Wuhan University in China.

The central Chinese city of Wuhan is the epicenter of the outbreak, and the virus has since spread to more than 9,800 people globally and killed 213 people in China.

Several Indian citizens living in Wuhan will arrive in India by plane on Saturday and be taken to a quarantine center on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi.

India, the world’s second most heavily populated country after China, has taken measures to ensure that all people arriving from China report to health authorities.

Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Gareth Jones and Nick Macfie