(Image: @narendramodi twitter handle)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting pharmaceutical facilities at three cities today to review development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister has arrived at Bharat Biotech's facility in Hyderabad. Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, called Covaxin, is currently undergoing phase-3 trials.
Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Director General of Police and other officials received PM Modi at Hakimpet Air Force station, PTI reported.
"At the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad, was briefed about their indigenous COVID-19 vaccine. Congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far. Their team is closely working with ICMR to facilitate speedy progress," PM Modi said in a tweet.
Earlier today, PM Modi visited pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila's facility situated at Changodar industrial area near Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
PM Modi spent more than an hour at the Zydus facility, before leaving for the airport, PTI reported.
"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," PM Modi tweeted.
PM Modi is also scheduled to visit Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) later today.
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Maharashtra Governor B S Koshyari and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will not accompany Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to SII's facility, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement.
SII has partnered with British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for clinical trials of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 .
"As India enters a decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19, PM 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 on November 27.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Pune at 5:10pm and is enroute to visit Serum Institute of India (SII), another facility that is undertaking the process of developing a potential candidate for COVID-19.
Adar Poonawala, CEO and Owner of SII addressed the PM's visit and said:
Poonawala also added that SII shares his vision and will continue to work towards ensuring safe and secure India. They also discussed details about the institute's progress so far, as well as plans to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing, according to a press release.
On the visit, PM Modi said that he had a good interaction with SII and had a look at their manufacturing facility
Poonawala has also mentioned that the institute has applied in the process of applying for emergency use authorization of Covishield in the next two weeks. He also said that the Centre may purchase 300-400 million doses by July 2021, in a press conference.
Concluding his three city tour to conduct an extensive review of the vaccine development, the PM stressed on the notion that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also as a global good.
He also mentioned that it is India's duty to assist other countries, including the nations in our neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the virus, reports said.