Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Saturday to increase oxygen supply and oxygen-related equipment. After the meeting, the Government of India said that the essential customs duty, health cess on oxygen and oxygen-related equipment will be waived. The Government statement also noted that the crucial customs duty on importing COVID vaccines is to be exempted with immediate effect for three months. Centre has taken a lot of measures in last few days to improve medical and oxygen supply, the statement further added.Covid-19 Cases and Death Count in India Live Updates: PM
India recorded over 3 lakh Covid-19 cases for the third consecutive day. According to the data released by the Union Health Ministry, 3,46,786 new cases and 2,624 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. With this, the total Covid tally of India has reached 1,66,10481. The country has so far reported 1,89,544 deaths.
Following a record spike in coronavirus cases in the past few days, several states face an acute shortage of oxygen. Many hospitals were sending SOS as they were struggling with dangerously low oxygen supply levels. The railways decided to run ‘Oxygen Express’ trains to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders. A train with three tankers of liquid medical oxygen reached Uttar Pradesh this morning.
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“Two trucks of medical oxygen arrived in Lucknow around 6.30 am while one truck was offloaded in Varanasi. Each truck has a capacity of containing 15,000 liters of medical oxygen,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
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Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with leading oxygen manufacturers of the country. He also had a meeting with chief ministers of high-burden states. Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Kerala, were among those who attended the meeting. Follow our live blog for all coronavirus-related news.