India’s duty to help neighbours in fight against Covid-19, says Modi | The Daily Star
09:37 PM, November 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:48 PM, November 28, 2020

India’s duty to help neighbours in fight against Covid-19, says Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said it is India's duty to assist other countries, including those in its neighbourhood, in the collective fight against the novel coronavirus.

Modi made the remark today as he made a day-long tour of the country's vaccine hubs across three cities -- Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune -- to review the vaccine development and manufacturing process, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

The Indian PM expressed pride over the progress in India's indigenous vaccine development and said "the country is following sound principles of science in the entire journey of vaccine development".

He called upon the scientists to freely express their opinion on how India could further improve its vaccine regulatory process.

The scientists presented an overview of how they are also developing various new and repurposed drugs to better fight Covid-19.

The Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad is manufacturing India's indigenous DNA-based vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila, while the Serum Institute of India in Pune is producing the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, developed by Oxford University in collaboration with British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.

Serum Institute of India has signed an agreement with Bangladesh government to supply Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has said it would apply for emergency license of Covid-19 vaccine in the next two weeks.

SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawala told a virtual media conference tonight that the vaccine, post-authorisation, would initially be distributed in India and then to African countries.

His remarks came soon after Modi's visit to SII's vaccine manufacturing facility in Pune.

Oxford University and AstraZeneca had on Monday last said that their Covid-19 vaccine was up to 90 percent effective in late-stage clinical trials.

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