Will meet Adar Poonawalla on Covid vaccines once he returns from London, says Maharashtra minister

Published on May 05, 2021 12:53 PM IST

The state government had no communication with Poonawalla after his interview to British media, Maharashtra health minister said.

Earlier, Tope said Poonawalla should first think of Maharashtra as he hails from Pune.(REUTERS)
Earlier, Tope said Poonawalla should first think of Maharashtra as he hails from Pune.(REUTERS)
By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

The Maharashtra government has had no communication with Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonwalla on vaccine procurement after Adar's interview to a British media house where he claimed he was under immense pressure from some of the most powerful people in the country for vaccines. "When he returns (from London), we will have a meeting with him," Rajesh Tope told news agency PTI.

Earlier, Tope said as Poonawalla hails from Pune and as his operation is based out of Pune, he should think about Maharashtra and give priority to his home state in allocating Covishield.

As India started the third phase of the vaccination drive from May 1, which also includes people between the age group of 18 and 44 years, demand for vaccines doubled. The Centre provided Y category security to Poonawalla after his company wrote to the home ministry complaining of threats to Poonawalla.

Adar Poonawalla must disclose who are threatening him, say Maharashtra leaders

“I’m staying here (London) for an extended time because I don't want to go back to that situation. Everything falls on my shoulders but I can't do it alone...I don’t want to be in a situation where you are just trying to do your job, and just because you can’t supply the needs of X, Y or Z you really don’t want to guess what they are going to do,” Poonawalla told the British newspaper.

Assuring that the work is going on in full swing at Serum, Poonawalla said he would soon come back to the country.

According to PTI reports, The world's largest vaccine maker is looking to invest 240 million pounds in the UK to expand its vaccine business as part of the 1-billion pound India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership. Serum is also conducting phase one trials of a nasal vaccine against coronavirus in the UK.

Reacting to his complaints, the Maharashtra government and the state Congress earlier said Adar Poonawalla must complain to the state police regarding the threats he said he received.

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