P M Modi at Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad. (DC Image: Pavan Kumar)
Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Coronavirus vaccine facilities at Ahme-dabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review the development and manufacturing process on Monday. The visit was purely functional, and shorn of any ceremony.
Modi first visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, then the Bharat Biotech plant in the city and wound up his tour with a visit to the Serum Institute of India facility in Pune.
Scientists, researchers and facilitators at Bharat Biotech said they were humbled by the visit of the Prime Minister.
The PM personally reviewed the vaccine development and manufacturing process.
He was briefed by the company about the human trials for which 26,000 volunteers in hospitals across the country have been enrolled.
The vaccine is being produced in the certified level 3 biosafety production unit.
Modi later posted on his Twitter handle that Bharat Biotech officials had briefed him about their vaccine.
He congratulated the scientists for their progress in the trials so far.
At all the three plants, the Prime Minister, who was wearing a PPE kit during the review, was extensively briefed about the vaccine work by company officials and scientists.
Modi landed at the Hakimpet Air Force station at around 1 pm and proceeded to Bharat Biotech’s facility by road.
He reviewed the progress of Covaxin, a vaccine candidate being developed by the company. He also interacted with Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella, scientists and senior management.
"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," Modi posted on Twitter.
While leaving the facility, Modi got down from his vehicle at the main gate and waved to media persons and the cheering crowd standing nearby.
His last visit of the day was to the Serum Institute of India at Manjari, 17 km from the airport. He reviewed progress of the 'Covishield' vaccine being made there. Modi interacted with scientists at the Serum Institute and had a walkabout of the facility, taking stock of vaccine development work being carried out there. Modi was received by Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Poonwalla Group, and his son and SII CEO Adar Poonawalla.