The SpiceJet flight SG8937, that brought the very first consignment of vaccines to Delhi, departed the Pune airport at 8.05am and landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.15am. (Sourced)
The SpiceJet flight SG8937, that brought the very first consignment of vaccines to Delhi, departed the Pune airport at 8.05am and landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.15am. (Sourced)

Covishield vaccine: First batch arrives in Delhi from Pune

The vaccines were taken to the cargo terminal where they were stored in temperature-controlled units. They will be transported to nearby centres
By Anvit Srivastava
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 12:32 PM IST

The first lot of Covid-19 vaccines arrived at the Delhi airport from Pune on Tuesday morning in a SpiceJet flight. Later in the day, an Air India flight is also expected to fly in another consignment of the vaccines to Delhi from Pune. A total of nine flights from Pune will ship the Covid-19 vaccines to multiple cities including Delhi on Tuesday, officials said.

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The SpiceJet flight SG8937, that brought the very first consignment of vaccines to Delhi, departed the Pune airport at 8.05am and landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.15am. At the Delhi airport, a team of the officials from the Airport Authority of India, ministry of civil aviation, health ministry, Delhi airport and Central Industrial Security Force officers received the vaccines. The vaccines were taken to the cargo terminal where they were stored in temperature-controlled units. They will be transported to nearby centres.

Also Read: Nearly 700,000 Covishield vaccines to reach Kolkata today

Officials from the ministry of civil aviation, who are aware of the development, told Hindustan Times that on Tuesday, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir and Indigo will operate nine flights from Pune with 5,650,000 doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh.

An official from the Delhi airport, who wished not to be named, said from the cargo terminals the vaccines will be sent to designated hospitals amidst heavy security in GPS-enabled trucks.

CEO, Delhi International Airport Limited, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said that a temperature-controlled facility, with temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius, at two cargo terminals can efficiently and safely handle these temperature-sensitive vaccines. “We have cool chambers and cool dollies to maintain the temperature required for these vaccines at the cargo terminal and during transit between aircraft and terminal or vice versa. Both the terminals can handle around 5.7 million vials a day,” he said.

The Delhi Police, which will escort the vaccine-loaded trucks to the designated hospitals in the city, have also made elaborate arrangements outside the airport to facilitate speedy and smooth movement of the vaccines.

Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, that brought in the first consignment of vaccines to Delhi, said the first lot of Covishield, consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1088kg, is being carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937.

“I am happy to share that SpiceJet has carried India’s first consignment of Covid vaccines today [Tuesday]. We will be carrying multiple vaccine consignments to different Indian cities, including Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna and Vijayawada through the day today,” Singh said.

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