Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Covid-19 vaccine: Special flight brings vials to IGI

New Delhi: The first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Delhi on Tuesday morning with SpiceJet ferrying in 2,64,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine from Pune. The cargo arm SpiceXpress flight SG8937 landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.15am. The vaccines were specially packed in airtight containers sealed by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccines were immediately loaded on to a special temperature-controlled truck and transported to Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital.

The cargo craft took off at Pune at 8.05 am. Spicejet executives said 22 boxes, each containing 1,200 vials of Covishield, were packed into the SpiceXpress craft that is capable of transporting extremely sensitive drugs, blood samples and vaccines in a temperature range of -40 degrees Celsius to +25 degrees Celsius. Each vial provides 10 doses of the vaccine. The white packets bore a logo with an image of an aeroplane against the Tricolour with the words, “May all be free of disease.”

Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, said, “I am very proud that India’s first consignment of the Covid vaccine was carried today by SpiceJet from Pune to Delhi. On Day One, SpiceJet is transporting four million doses of Covishield weighing close to 11 tonnes to Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna, Vijayawada and Delhi. As India gets ready for the biggest vaccination drive in its history, the SpiceJet family hopes and prays for a quick, complete and decisive victory in this fight against coronavirus.”

Delhi International Airport Limited officials said instructions had been given to immediately transfer the vials to Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital. However, the airport is also capable of storing the vaccine at its two cargo terminals, which together have a combined capacity to hold 57 lakh vials each day. The storage facilities at the airport can keep sensitive drugs and vaccines at a temperature ranging from -20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius.

13/01/21 Times of India

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