Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited Covid vaccine production units at Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review the manufacturing process. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) termed this whirlwind visit as an attempt to get a “first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens”.
“Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility,” tweeted PM Modi from Pune, after his last visit of the day.
Modi began the tour with a visit to pharmaceutical giant Zydus Cadila’s plant in Gujarat. He reviewed the vaccine development process at Zydus Cadila’s research centre in Changodar, located about 25 km from Ahmedabad.
The pharma company’s vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, has successfully completed the first phase of trials and the second phase of trials is on since August.
“Visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. I compliment the team behind this effort for their work. Government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey,” Modi tweeted.
The Prime Minister’s next stop was Hyderabad, where he paid a visit to Bharat BioTech plant, which is working on Covaxin — India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate.
The PM then proceeded to Pune to visit Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for a COVID-19 vaccine. Here too Modi reviewed the status of the vaccine, including its launch, production and distribution mechanisms.
“As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19, PM Narendra Modi’s visit to these facilities and discussions with the scientists will help him get a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted yesterday.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had asked chief ministers of states during a virtual meeting to establish cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccine in advance and send a plan for its effective distribution.
On Saturday morning, 41,322 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported across the country, which is 4% lower than on Friday. The total number of cases stands at 93.51 lakh cases with 1,36,200 deaths.