Here are the updates from Friday:

  1. The Goods and Services Tax Council, led by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday decided to exempt Integrated Goods and Services Tax on import of free Covid-related supplies till August 31, The Indian Express reported. The council also added Amphotericin B, the drug used in the treatment of mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, in the list of items exempted from the IGST.
  2. India reported 1,86,364 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Friday morning, taking the overall tally to 2,75,55,457 since the pandemic first broke out in January 2020. The toll rose by 3,660 to 31,88,95, while the active caseload stood at 23,43,152.
  3. The United Kingdom on Friday approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, AFP reported. With this, UK will now four vaccines to fight against Covid-19.
  4. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not understood the severity of the Covid-19 crisis. “My understanding and the understanding of experts is the current rate of vaccination of 3% almost guarantees a third wave of virus when the lockdown goes, which is completely unnecessary,” he added.
  5. The central government, however, asserted that everyone in India will be completely vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of 2021.
  6. The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court criticised the Centre for defending “defective ventilator manufacturer” Jyoti CNC and claiming that the doctors and paramedics are not properly trained to handle the ventilators. The High Court asked the Union health ministry to refrain from questioning the reports of medical experts.
  7. The Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown in the state by one more week till 6 am on June 7. The supply of vegetables and fruits will continue through government departments. The government said that groceries will be sold through vehicles or pushcarts in association with local shops. Home delivery would be allowed for orders taken online or on the telephone between 7 am and 6 pm.
  8. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the suspension on international passenger flights till June 30. In a circular, it added that the restrictions will not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the aviation regulator.
  9. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the national Capital will begin the unlocking process from May 31, when the over a month-long lockdown is scheduled to end. Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday declared post-Covid complication mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, a notifiable disease in the city under the Epidemic Act, 1897.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16.9 crore people and killed over 35.13 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.