Hyderabad, April 10 (IANS) Telangana on Friday sought tax exemption for medicines and medical equipment to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Health Minister Eatala Rajender has also called for exempting imported equipment from customs duty.

He made the demand during a video-conference Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan held with health ministers of all states.

Rajender also demanded that ventilators and other equipment being manufactured by public sector undertakings like Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) should be made available to states.

He also requested the Centre to take necessary steps to ensure that the states get N-95 masks, Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) and testing kits as early as possible.

He suggested that the Centre take all measures to make sure that there is no black-marketing of medical equipment used in the management of COVID-19. He said the Centre should acquire these equipment and make them available to the state governments.

Rajender informed the Central minister that there is no community transmission of coronavirus in Telangana. “We have so far tested samples of 8,500 people and out of them 471 were found positive. While 12 people died, 45 recovered and discharged from hospitals,” he said.

The minister suggested that the Centre take views of all states on the issue of extending the lockdown.

–IANS

ms/prs

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