Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will embark on a three-city visit to personally review the vaccine development and manufacturing process.
He will visit the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune (Maharashtra), the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“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,” PMO said.
The chief minister of Gujarat welcomed the Prime Minister and in a tweet said: “The whole world is eyeing the successful manufacture of the Covid vaccine. Millions of Indians are also waiting for it with hope. A warm welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India visiting Ahmedabad himself to review the progress of that vaccine.”
Zydus Cadila’s plant is in Changodar industrial area near Ahmedabad city.
The company had earlier announced that the phase-I clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, has been completed and it has commenced phase 2 clinical trials from August.
Post that the Prime Minister is set to visit the Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for the vaccine.
The SII is the largest producer of vaccines in the world by volume.
The trial movement of the road routes and the landing of Air Force chopper was conducted on Friday. The police security has increased up security ahead of PM Modi’s visit.
The prime minister is also scheduled to visit vaccine maker Bharat Biotech’s facility in Hyderabad.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is undergoing phase-3 trials.
Besides SII, Bharat Biotech has partnered with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for a country-made COVID-19 vaccine using the virus strain isolated by ICMR’s National Institute of Virology (NIV) based in Pune.
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 the Covid-19 vaccine beforehand and suggested them to prepare and send a plan for its distribution to the Central government.