Fire loss Rs 1,000 cr; BCG and rota vaccines production hit: Serum
The fire incident will not affect Covishield supplies, but it has damaged the rotavirus and BCG vaccine manufacturing and storage facilities.
Vaccine-maker Serum Institute of India has said it suffered losses worth at least Rs 1,000 crore in Thursday’s fire, although the production or supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine remained unaffected.
“The fire incident will not affect Covishield supplies, but it has damaged the rotavirus and BCG vaccine manufacturing and storage facilities. It is a big financial loss for us, more than Rs 1,000 crore,” Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said at a press conference on Friday.
“By God’s grace, and prayers by all of us, the fire incident took place in another building and Covishield production and stock was not affected at all,” he said.
Five die in fire at Serum Institute of India
As per reports, five people died after a major fire engulfed the three upper floors of a newly- constructed six-storey building inside one of the campuses of Serum Institute of India (SII), which is a key player in the global supplies of vaccines against the novel coronavirus disease.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the Serum Institute campus on Friday. And reviewed the damage caused by the fire. The only relief was that manufacturing or storage of Covishield was unaffected, he said.
“Covid-19 is still wreaking havoc around the globe. Serum is a ray of hope. When news of the fire came, everyone was horrified. Five persons died but thankfully the manufacturing and storage of the Covid vaccine was not affected. People are worried about the Covid vaccine. I want to assure everyone that Covid vaccine manufacturing hasn’t been affected,” the Chief Minister said.
Thackeray said the cause of the fire was being ascertained. “A detailed inquiry is taking place, and it would be improper to jump to conclusions. Once the inquiry is over, we will know if it was an accident. Or whether there was foul play,” he said.
State Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Labour and Excise Minister Dilip Walse Patil, Pune MP Girish Bapat, Pune Collector Rajesh Deshmukh, and Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta accompanied the Chief Minister.