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Indian gov't exempts customs duty on import of COVID-19 vaccines, oxygen

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 13:33, April 25, 2021

NEW DELHI, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government on Saturday decided to exempt basic customs duty on imports of COVID-19 vaccines, medical grade oxygen for a period of three months, said a senior official.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review steps taken to boost oxygen availability in the country.

Over the past several days, several COVID-19 speciality hospitals in different parts of the country have been facing an acute shortage of oxygen. In some cases, patients even died due to shortage of oxygen.

According to a statement issued by the federal finance ministry, the prime minister emphasized that there was an immediate need to augment the supply of medical grade oxygen as well as equipment required for patient care both at home and in hospitals.

According to the health ministry, India witnessed historical high figures both in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases and new deaths on Saturday, as 346,786 more infections and 2,624 deaths were reported. The total tally has reached 16,610,481 and the death toll increased to 189,544 in the country.

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