Vaccines struck the road, over 50 lakh doses are shipped throughout India
A truck with the very first batch of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine travels through a green passage on its way from IGI airport to Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialized Hospital in New Delhi Tuesday. (Express image by Tashi Tobgyal)
About half a crore doses of Serum Institute of India’s (SII’s) Covishield vaccine were shipped of Pune to cities throughout India on Tuesday as the country launched its final phase of preparations for the mass inoculation drive against the novel coronavirus that starts on Saturday.
The very first consignment of 2.64 lakh doses of the vaccine took off for Delhi on a SpiceJet flight right after 8 am, landing in the national capital a little prior to 10 am. A GoAir flight to Chennai and an Air India flight to Ahmedabad followed.
The last flight of the day with the vaccine cargo, an IndiGo flight to Lucknow, left Pune at 2.10 pm.
By 4 pm, 54.72 lakh doses of the vaccine had reached stores around the nation, the Health Ministry said at a briefing at night.
In the morning, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had actually published on Twitter that the four carriers would operate 9 flights from Pune to ferry 56.5 lakh dosages of the vaccine to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Shillong, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna, Lucknow, and Chandigarh
A total 477 boxes of vaccine freight, each weighing 32 kg, were shipped, officials in Pune stated. At night, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted an image of a large group of the company’s employees with the message: “An emotional minute for the team at @SerumInstIndia as the first deliveries of #Covishield finally leave for several places across India.”
As of Tuesday, the virus had actually infected more than 1.04 crore and eliminated more than 1.51 lakh individuals throughout India.
” The vaccine consignments were carried in the tummy of set up passenger flights on Tuesday. Because these were the initial deliveries, the quantity was less, and could, therefore, be accommodated in passenger flights. Proceeding, there could be a requirement for truck aircraft,” an executive with one of the airline companies said.
SpiceJet flew consignments of 276,000 doses to Guwahati, 996,000 doses to Kolkata, 3,72,000 dosages to Hyderabad, 480,000 doses to Bhubaneswar, 648,000 doses to Bengaluru, 552,000 doses to Patna, and 408,000 dosages to Vijayawada from Pune.
” On Day One, SpiceJet is delivering 4 million doses of Covishield vaccine weighing near to 11 tonnes to eight different cities that include Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna, Vijayawada & Delhi,” Ajay Singh, SpiceJet’s chairman and handling director stated.
IndiGo stated it transferred 900 kg of vaccine consignments from Pune to Chandigarh and Lucknow. “Starting from January 13, the vaccines will be transferred from Mumbai to other cities basis the allotment,” the airline said in a declaration.
GoAir carried 7.08 lakh dosages to Chennai, and Air India flew 2.76 lakh dosages to Ahmedabad.
Asked how the federal government was choosing the number of dosages would go to each state, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said this information “will be shared”. Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog’s Member, Health. said: “It is being done. When we bring out this, we will let you know.”
The airline executive estimated above said the consignments were being sent out through SII’s freight forwarders– or cargo sales representatives– who choose which airline company to book remembering different factors.
” Serum Institute carries large amounts of pharmaceutical products regularly and they have their specialised freight forwarders, who were made aware of the conditions in which the Covid-19 vaccine needs to be transferred.
” These freight forwarders, on the basis of where the vaccine needs to be sent, how much cargo area is available, and the time by which it must reach the location, decide which airline to book,” the executive stated.
Trucks carrying the vaccine cargo left for the airport from the SII’s facilities in Manjari on the outskirts of the city at 5 am. Pune Deputy Commissioner Namrata Patil performed a puja at eviction.
Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh stated, “All the work was done by the airport personnel extremely efficiently with no problems. We have readied our personnel for this essential project, and we will persevere effectively.”
Authorities at Delhi airport, which was the very first to receive the shipment from Pune, stated the 2 freight terminals, which have temperature-controlled facilities varying from minus 20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius, can manage 57 lakh vials of the vaccine per day.
” We have synergised and teamed up with all stakeholders consisting of exporters, importers, logistics business, freight forwarders/agents, federal government, airline companies, freight terminal operators, to make sure faster turn-around of the vaccines,” Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Ltd said.
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( the heading, this story has not been published by Crucial India News staff and is released from a syndicated feed.).