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PM Modi ends his visit to three cities to review the development of the COVID-19 vaccine

December 04, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday ended his three city visit to personally review the development and manufacturing process for Covid-19 vaccine being done by various pharma companies. He visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune.

"The scientists expressed joy that the Prime Minister met them face to face in order to boost their morale and help accelerate their efforts at this critical juncture in the vaccine development journey. Prime Minister expressed pride in the fact that India’s indigenous vaccine development has progressed at such a rapid pace so far. He spoke on how India is following sound principles of science in the entire journey of vaccine development, while also asking for suggestions to make the vaccine distribution process better," said Prime Minister's Office in an official release.

The Prime Ministers underlined that India views vaccines not only as essential for good health, but also as a global good, and that it has a duty to help other countries, including our neighbours, in the collective fight against the virus, PMO added.

He asked the scientists to express their free and frank opinion on how the country could further improve its regulatory process. The scientists also presented an overview of how they are also developing various new and repurposed drugs to better fight Covid-19. Modi began her lightning journey Saturday morning by visiting Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to learn more about the indigenous DNA-based vaccine developed by Zydus Cadila.

Modi spent over an hour at the plant, before leaving for the airport, from where he left for Hyderabad at 11.40 am. Modi landed at Hakimpet Air Force station near Hyderabad around 1 pm and proceeded to pharma major Bharat Biotech's vaccine manufacturing facility at Genome valley, located around 20 km from the air station, by road.

Modi tweeted: "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."

At the facility, 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 3.20 pm, Modi took off for Pune, where he landed at 4.30 pm. From the airport, Modi proceeded by helicopter to the Serum Institute of India (SII) at Manjari, located 17 km from the airport.

From Hyderabad, Modi went to Serum Institute of India in Pune.

"Had a good interaction with the team at Serum Institute of India. They shared details about their progress so far on how they plan to further ramp up vaccine manufacturing. Also took a look at their manufacturing facility," said Modi on Twitter.

Modi's visit to Zydus Cadila's manufacturing facility near Ahmedabad where a coronavirus vaccine is being developed was encouraging, the pharma major said.

Modi was extensively briefed about the vaccine work at the plant by the company officials. He was briefed about the vaccine production procedure. He interacted with scientists and vaccine developers, an official said.

"Today, honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji visited our Zydus Biotech park. This visit has encouraged us in doing more and doing fast," the company's Chairman Pankaj Patel said in a video statement.

"His knowledge, wisdom about the problem, and his guidance have been valuable for our scientific staff and for all of us," Patel added.

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