Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit India’s top vaccine hubs today to personally review the development of coronavirus vaccine and the manufacturing process. The visit, PM Modi’s office said, was meant to help him get a “first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens”.
PM Modi began his three-city vaccine tour with a visit to pharma major Zydus Cadila’s plant near Ahmedabad. The plant is located in the Changodar industrial area, over 20 km from Ahmedabad. PM Modi will be at the plant for an hour, an official said. The drug maker has announced that the first phase of clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, has been completed and it commenced the second phase of clinical trials in August.
From Ahmedabad, PM Modi will fly to Pune where Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for a COVID-19 vaccine, is based. PM Modi is expected to review the status of the vaccine, including its launch, production and distribution mechanisms during the visit.
The Prime Minister will then travel to Hyderabad and visit Bharat BioTech, which is working on Covaxin, pitched as India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate. The Prime Minister is expected to reach at 3:40 pm and after a visit to the facility between 4 and 5 pm, he would fly out at 5:40 pm.
“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.
On November 24, Prime Minister while speaking with Chief Ministers of various states over the deteriorating pandemic situation in their states at a virtual meeting advised the states to establish cold storage facilities for COVID-19 vaccine beforehand and suggested them to prepare and send a plan for its distribution to the Central government.
This morning, India reported 41,322 fresh COVID-19 cases, 4% lower than on Friday, taking its overall number to 93.51 lakh cases and 1,36,200 deaths. The states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala were the most affected ones, with deaths ranging from 23 to 85 in the past 24 hours.