First flight with COVID-19 vaccines lands in Delhi from Pune
(Sourced from PTI)
The first consignment of Covishield vaccines reached Delhi from Pune on Tuesday, four days ahead of the launch of a nationwide drive against the coronavirus. A SpiceJet flight carrying the vaccines landed at the Delhi Airport around 10 am. It had left Pune around 8 am, three hours after trucks with the maiden consignment rolled out of the Serum Institute of India (SII) facility.
Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute's gates before 5 am. The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, a source involved in the vaccine transport arrangements told PTI.
Meanwhile, four airlines will operate nine flights to transport 56.5 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pune to 13 cities on Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. He tweeted that vaccine movement has started, adding that the first two flights operated by SpiceJet and GoAir from Pune to Delhi and Chennai have taken off. The consignment for Mumbai will leave by road.
Civil aviation sector launches yet another momentous mission.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) January 12, 2021
Vaccine movement starts.
First two flights operated by @flyspicejet @goairlinesindia from Pune to Delhi Chennai have taken off. pic.twitter.com/uo11S4OvqK
Other locations include Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Karnal, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guwahati, Lucknow, Chandigarh, and Bhubaneswar. "The flights include two cargo flights. The first cargo flight will cover Hyderabad, Vijayawada, and Bhubaneswar and the second flight will go to Kolkata and Guwahati," a source said.
Earlier, interacting with state Chief Ministers on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had underscored the enormity of what he called the world's biggest vaccination exercise. He said, "Over 30 crore citizens will get the jabs in the next few months in India against only 2.5 crore people vaccinated so far in over 50 countries in around a month."
The Central Government on Monday placed orders in advanced commitments for over six crore doses of vaccines from Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech for inoculating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase of the nationwide vaccination drive beginning January 16.