The government has lifted customs duty and cess on a number of COVID-related supplies being imported into the country for a limited period. This comes amid a raging second wave of COVID-19 that is sweeping across the nation, overwhelming health infrastructure and leading to severe shortages of medicines, hospital beds and oxygen.

Also Read | COVID alert in 10 states. Read full list here

"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Government has issued notifications exempting basic customs duty and/or health cess on imports of a number of COVID-19 related relief materials, for a limited period," ANI reported quoting Ministry of Finance.

The governement has exempted duty/cess on the import of Remdevisir injections, API and Beta Cyclodextrin (SBEBC) and inflammatory diagnostic (marker) kits till October 31.

Also Read | 1 CT-Scan equal to 300 chest x-rays: AIIMS Director warns against overuse

It has also exempted the taxes on the import of medical grade oxygen, oxygen therapy-related equipment such as oxygen concentrators, cryogenic transport tanks, etc, and COVID-19 vaccines till July 31. 

On Monday, a team of experts, along with an oxygen generation plant and 20 ventilators arrived from Italy to assist in the country's fight against a deadly second wave of the pandemic. A C-130 aircraft of the Indian Air Force landed in Delhi with the equiments and personnel on board. 

Also Read | Final year MBBS students, nurses to be included in COVID-19 duty: PMO

With the country's healtcare infrastructure under tremendous pressure from the mounting cases, and hospitals across the country facing a dire shortage in vital supplies, a number of countries have pledged their assistance to India.

They include the US, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Singapore, Portugal, Sweden, New Zealand, among others.