| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

India cuts taxes on medicines and equipment to treat COVID-19

India on Saturday cut taxes on medical equipment such as drugs and oxygen concentrators used to treat coronavirus infections, after widespread criticism over healthcare costs during a devastating second wave of COVID-19 in April and May.

The cabinet cut taxes on diagnostic kits, medical grade oxygen, ventilators, pulse oximeters, the remdesivir antiviral drug, and hand sanitizers to 5% from 12-18% with immediate effect.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the new levies will be in place until the end of September, saying it would include taxes on electric furnaces in crematoriums and ambulances.

India recorded on Saturday 84,332 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest in over 2 months, data from the health ministry showed.

The South Asian country’s total COVID-19 case load is now at 29.4 million, while total deaths stand at 367,081, the data revealed.

The country added 4,002 fatalities overnight.

  • Reuters