Tax on dengue kits removed by govt

A welcome initiative amidst the outbreak

The government has decided to lift all kinds of import tax, value added tax and other duties on dengue test kits, dengue reagent and test kits for platelet and plasma in blood. The tax-free window will also be applicable for importing the respective test kits, approved by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), till August 31.

Furthermore, the DGDA will also monitor the quality of the kits being imported into the country. The initiative is a welcome one as more patients are flocking to hospitals to get tested and being admitted each day. Over 2000 people are being infected with the virus each day. The removal of tax, particularly on importing the kits will prove valuable as there is already a shortage of kits in the country.  

The respective authorities should be commended for trying to rein in the seemingly uncontrollable virus. However, further steps must be taken to eliminate the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes in outdoor spaces, particularly in construction sites. 

The respective authorities

 should be commended for trying to rein in

 the seemingly uncontrollable virus

It will not be possible to eliminate the source of Aedes mosquitoes just through government and city corporation initiatives. Community-based organizations and volunteers, as well as individual residents must be vigilant in identifying and destroying any open sources of water in containers. 

With the Eid holidays fast approaching, the mosquitoes carrying the virus are likely to spread far and wide, virtually to all corners of the country unless swift action is taken. Buses and trains, as well as other modes of transport, should be sprayed with aerosol before starting the journey. 

The government should form teams for surveillance of different parts of the city in order to identify at-risk areas. Buildings which are found to have open containers of water must be penalized to set an example. 

The dengue outbreak in the country is a direct result of our lack of civic sense and responsibility. If we all pledge to keep our surroundings clean and eliminate open sources of water, the outbreak is likely to be contained very soon.