Thursday, January 14, 2021

14 boxes, 1.62L doses & a shot of hope arrive at Birsa airport

Ranchi: Packed in 14 temperature-controlled boxes, 16,186 vials of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived in a commercial flight of Spicejet from Mumbai around 9am on Wednesday at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda International Airport.

The vaccines, received by the state government’s department of health, medical education and family welfare, will be used to inoculate 1.31 lakh health workers of the state and nearly 35,000 Indian Army personnel, stationed in Ranchi military station and Ramgarh’s Punjab Regimental Centre.

After the aircraft landed, the boxes, containing 1,200 vials each, were loaded on a vaccination van of the state health mission and brought to the department’s warehouse at RCH campus in Namkum, 13 kilometre from the airport.

In a statement, the state health mission said, “Each vial of Covishield vaccine contains 5 ml. From it, 10 dozes can be delivered.”

The sprawling RCH campus, which sits next to the Ranchi-Tata Road and houses the state health directorate, was locked down for media personnel. Even health department personnel and contractual health workers, who were to handle the vaccines’ transportation, struggled to get in. While senior officials remained absent from the spot, security guards said the gates were closed on orders from the health secretary.

Inside the campus, the consignment was documented and loaded on vaccine vans by the department’s contractual storekeepers. By 12.30 pm, the vans were sent off for their respective districts. “The consignments were sent off in cold boxes to all the 24 districts. Some vans were consolidated ones, meaning they carried vials for several districts,” a health official said on condition of anonymity.

14/01/21 Dhritiman Ray/Times of India

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