Public representatives are not part of 3 cr Covid warriors: PM
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged politicians to stay away from the first round of vaccination exercise as public representatives are not part of nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.
"This is my personal suggestion and no one should take it otherwise. We public representatives are not part of it," the PM said.
Stocks of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, are likely to start moving out of Serum Institute of India's facility here on early Tuesday morning, days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive, marking India's entry into a decisive phase against the anti-Coronavirus fight.
A source closely involved in logistical arrangements said the movement of vaccine doses is likely to start from early Tuesday morning through road and air routes amid elaborate police security.
"Some consignments will go by roadways and some will go by air," said the source.
Trucks belonging to Kool-ex Cold Chain Ltd, which will be ferrying vaccine stocks, reached Serum Institute of India's (SII) Manjari facility on Monday evening, where loading of doses will take place, he said.
Covishield is co-developed by the University of Oxford and British-Swedish company AstraZeneca in collaboration with the Pune-based SII.
Among the first batch, one consignment is scheduled to be shipped by an Air India cargo flight to Ahmedabad.
"In the consignment there are 23 pieces weighing 736 kg which will be sent by air cargo," said a source from the airline.
The government on Monday placed firm orders in advanced commitments for over 6 crore doses of COVID vaccine from SII and Bharat Biotech for inoculating 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive, together which will cost Rs 1,300 crore.
Sources said the government has placed an order to Bharat Biotech for 55 lakh doses costing Rs 162 crore.
On Monday, Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel tweeted that his state will receive the first consignment of coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday at 10.45 am at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport in Ahmedabad.
Covishield vaccine doses would be initially shipped to 60 consignee points from where those would be distributed to various vaccination centres across India, the sources said.
The Maharashtra government has already decided to provide police security to trucks carrying vaccine doses up to airports and the state's borders.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said that about 16 lakh frontline workers in the state will be administered COVID-19 vaccine in the first phase starting from January 16.