New Delhi: After giving sensational interview on receiving death threats, the CEO of Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla, on Saturday announced his return to India from London in a few days. Explaining his stay in London, he revealed his business plans to expand vaccine manufacturing to countries outside India, which may include the likes of the UK.
“Had an excellent meeting with all our partners and stakeholders in the UK. Meanwhile, pleased to state that Covishield’s production is in full swing in Pune. I look forward to reviewing operations upon my return in a few days,” Poonawalla said in a midnight tweet.
Upon being asked about Britain as one of the production bases outside India, he said, “There’s going to be an announcement in the next few days.”
In the same interview, Poonawalla spoke out about the pressures he was under over the production of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the demand in India as the country battles through a devastating second wave of the coronavirus.
Notably, several states in India flagged concerns of a shortage of vaccines on Saturday as the country kicked off the third phase of its inoculation drive.
Delhi, Odisha, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Punjab had said they do not have adequate doses to start vaccinating individuals in the 18-44 age group.
Some states announced the third phase of the immunisation drive in selected districts, while some announced vaccination for only those above 35 years of age.
Meanwhile, India’s daily coronavirus tally crossed the grim milestone of four lakh, while the death toll rose to 2,11,853 with 3,523 fresh fatalities, according to date updated by the Union health ministry on Saturday.
The infection tally rose to 1,91,64,969 with 4,01,993 new cases, while the active cases crossed the 32-lakh mark.
Registering a steady increase, the active cases stood at 32,68,710, accounting for 17.06% of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate further dropped to 81.84%. This is the fourth consecutive day that India has recorded over 3,000 deaths due to Covid. Hospitals are overwhelmed and shortage of medical oxygen and essential medicines have emerged as one of the top challenges. The country’s daily Covid cases passed the 1 lakh-mark for the first time about three weeks ago.