Coronavirus News Highlights: Tax exemptions for payment towards Covid-19 treatment/death; Tamil Nadu extends lockdown till July 5 with certain relaxations

by Joseph K. Clark

A health worker administers the Covishield vaccine during a particular vaccination drive against COVID-19 in Hyderabad on June 25. (AP Photo)

Covid-19 Vaccine Registration in India Highlights, Coronavirus Cases in India Tracker, Covid-19 India June 25 Updates: The vaccination drive in India has gathered pace with the launch of a new vaccination policy on June 21. So far, India has vaccinated over 30.79 crore people against Coronavirus. As many as 64.89 lakh vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday, around 53 lakh on Tuesday, and a record 88 lakh on Monday. India aims to vaccinate all people aged above 18 years by the year-end. Will India vaccinate fast enough to protect itself from the next wave? Experts are unsure whether vaccination momentum can be sustained.

Coronavirus

India has been reporting around 50,000 new Covid-19 cases for the past few days. Covid-19 deaths and positivity rate have also dropped quite significantly. The recovery rate has also improved to 96.61% on Thursday. According to Health Ministry data on Friday, India reported 51,667 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the case tally to 3,01,34,445. The Covid-19 death toll increased to 3,93,310, with 1,329 more people succumbing to the virus infections in a day. The number of active Covid-19 cases has declined to 6,12,868 and now accounts for 2.03% of the total conditions. The weekly positivity rate also dropped to 3 percent. With improvement in the Covid-19 situation, several states have started unlocking. Few states/UTs have opted for relaxations in Covid restrictions, not full unlock, as health experts have warned of a possible third wave if appropriate Covid-19 behavior is not followed.

Tax exemption on employee’s COVID treatment

The government on Friday said that the amount paid by an employer to employees for COVID-19 treatment would be tax-exempt. Also, the ex-gratia payment received from the employer by family members in case of the death of an employee due to COVID-19 would be exempt from income tax.

The emergence of the Delta Plus variant further added fear. According to health experts, the Delta Plus variant, which the health ministry has categorized as a ‘variant of concern, calls for caution, not panic, as its virulence and transmissibility are still being investigated. The new Delta Plus variant has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first detected in India and one of the drivers of the deadly second wave. So far, India has reported 50 cases of Delta Plus variant; most of these cases are from Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. This viral variant, also known as AY.1, has been seen globally in nine other countries, with 205 infections detected in Europe, America, and Asia. Financial Express Online is bringing you the latest updates from India as well as around the world on Coronavirus:

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