Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday visited India's top vaccine hubs 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 in Gujarat. Wearing a PPE kit, PM Modi reviewed the vaccine development process at the Zydus Cadila research centre in Changodar industrial area, over 20 km from Ahmedabad.
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, reports Times of India with inputs from PTI.
"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.
From Ahmedabad, PM Modi flew to Hyderabad where he visited Bharat BioTech, which is working on Covaxin, pitched as India's first indigenous vaccine candidate. The facility is around 50 km from Hyderabad.
"The prime minister's visit serves as a great inspiration to our team, and further reinforces our commitment towards scientific discovery, solving public health issues, and the nation's fight against COVID-19," the company said in a statement.
After his hour-long visit to the facility, the PM proceeded 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."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.