COVID-19: Biggest-ever Sputnik V consignment lands in Hyderabad

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Visuals from Hyderabad airport (ANI)
Visuals from Hyderabad airport (ANI)

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], June 1 (ANI): The biggest import consignment of COVID-19 vaccines in India till date involving 56.6 tonnes of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines received in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The vaccine consignment arrived from Russia on a specially chartered freighter RU-9450 which landed in Hyderabad Airport in the early hours of Tuesday.

According to GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) officials, several import shipments of vaccines have been received prior to this, but today's shipment of 56.6 tonnes of vaccines is the single largest import shipment of COVID-19 vaccines handled in India till date.

According to GHAC officials, the Sputnik V vaccine needs specialised handling and storage at a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius.

GHAC has been working closely with the experts from the customer's supply chain team, officials from the customs department and other relevant stakeholders over an extended period of time to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and handling processes are fully in place at the Air Cargo Terminal for smooth handling of the vaccine shipments.

Major pharma companies based in and around Hyderabad are expected to produce or import over 3.5 billion doses of different varieties of COVID vaccines over the next couple of years and GHAC has been gearing up on all fronts to handle the surge in vaccine shipments, according to a GHAC statement.

Key elements of the temperature-controlled infrastructure at GHAC are all being expanded in terms of both capacities as well as capabilities. Among other measures, GHAC has expanded the capacity of 'Pharma Zone' called to be India's first dedicated pharma cargo export terminal and introduced a unique temperature-controlled 'Cool Dolly' to safely transport shipments from the terminal to the aircraft.

Russia's Sputnik V got approval from the Subject expert committee (SEC) for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), making it the third COVID-19 vaccine to get clearance in India.

Sputnik V has been imported to India by Dr Reddy's Laboratories and will be manufactured locally by the pharmaceutical major in the coming months. (ANI)