‘Impressed’: 64 Nations’ Envoys on Vaccine Tour in Hyderabad

“You are really connecting with the world and helping all of us,” Ambassador of Denmark to India F Svane said.

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Sixty-four Heads of Missions from various countries visited the Bharat Biotech facility in Hyderabad on Wednesday, 9 December, as a part of an official visit to two key facilities that are developing the COVID-19 vaccine in India. The envoys also visited Biological E Ltd’s vaccine-manufacturing facilities.

Bharat Biotech, which sought approval for emergency use for its vaccine ‘Covaxin’ on 7 December, is developing India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate. It is the third candidate to apply for the government’s approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

‘Impressed’, Say Envyos

“There are many vaccines being produced in countries around the world but there is only one country that has the manufacturing capacity to produce sufficient quantities to satisfy the demands of citizens in every country and that is India,” Australian Ambassador to India, Barry O'Farrell told ANI.

Ambassador of Denmark to India F Svane said that he was glad to see India setting an example.

“I was really impressed to see how far you have come, how dedicated you are to combat COVID-19, how focused you are on helping humanity. It’s not just a commercial or a nation first interest, you are really connecting with the world and helping all of us,” he said.

News Agency ANI reported that the foreign envoys were given a tour of the largest Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine facilities.

Dr Krishna Ella, the Managing Director and Chairman of Bharat Biotech, said in a presentation that “33 percent of global vaccines are produced in Genome Valley. The PM has said the vaccines will be available for humanity, and the industry will see his dream is realised.”

Mahima Datla, MD, Biological E Ltd, told ANI that the visit of envoys is a testament to PM Modi’s vision.

“It's a testament to the Prime Minister’s vision who's not only showcasing collaboration but is keen to ensure that it's not just India that receives vaccine but Indian companies play a vital role in delivering vaccine to the world,” she said.

In November, Biological E Ltd had started human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine and said that they expect results by February. Their vaccine is being developed by with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and US-based firm Dynavax Technologies Corp.

Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs briefed over 190 heads of diplomatic missions and representatives from leading international organisations on issues related to COVID-19. This visit will be a continuation of that briefing.

The visit comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Zydus Biotech on 28 November 2020 on his first vaccine tour in the country.

(With inputs from NDTV and ANI)

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