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Modi visits COVID-19 vaccine facilities in three cities, discusses ways of improving distribution
New Delhi, November 28, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune and visited COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing facilities there and discussed with scientists ways of improving distribution.
During the day-long trip, Modi visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune to personally review the development and manufacturing of the vaccines.
The visit was aimed at getting a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges and roadmap in India’s endeavour to vaccinate its citizens against the deadly virus that has infected more than 61 million people and claimed more than 1.445 million lives worldwide.
In India, the vaccine has claimed 136,200 lives so far and infected more than 9.351 million people since the first case was reported in the country in late January this year.
On his visit to Serum Institute of India, Pune, the Prime Minister was briefed about the institute’s plan to ramp up manufacturing of biotechnology company Novavax’ Covishield vaccine and the progress on the same.
He interacted with the team comprising doctors and scientists and also visited the vaccine manufacturing facility.
Earlier in the day, Modi visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to know more about the indigenous DNA-based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila. He complimented the team for their work and assured them that the Government of India is actively working with them to support them in this journey.
During his visit to Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, the Prime Minister was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. He congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far.
An official press release said the scientists had come to meet them to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts at this critical juncture in the vaccine development journey.
Modi expressed pride in the fact that India’s indigenous vaccine development has progressed at such a rapid pace so far. He spoke on how India is following sound principles of science in the entire journey of vaccine development and sought suggestions to make the vaccine distribution process better.
The Prime Minister stressed that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also as a global good, and it is India’s duty to assist other countries, including the nations in its neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the virus.
He asked the scientists to express their free and frank opinion on how the country could further improve its regulatory process. The scientists also presented an overview of how they are also developing various new and repurposed drugs to better fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).