Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla to get Y category security, says Centre
Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla has been accorded 'Y' category security across India by the CRPF in view of "potential threats" to the businessman, involved in the production of one of the Covid-19 vaccines in India, the Union government officials said on Wednesday.
The Central government decision came after Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), Prakash Kumar Singh had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 16 requesting security for Poonawalla.
According to officials, the protection has been given in view of "potential threats" to Poonawalla.
Armed commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be with him every time he travels to any part of the country, they said and added that the 'Y' security cover will entail a posse of about 4-5 armed commandos with him.
Covishield, one of the two Covid-19 vaccines used in India's Covid-19 vaccination programme, is being manufactured by SII. The other vaccine being used in the country is Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech.
In this letter, Singh had stated that Poonawalla has been getting threats from various groups regarding the Covid-19 vaccine supplies.
In this letter, Singh also said, "we are working shoulder to shoulder to fight against Covid-19 pandemic with the Government of India under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji."
Earlier in the day, Serum Institute announced a cut in price of the jab it plans to sell to states to Rs 300 per dose from the earlier Rs 400.
This followed widespread criticism of its pricing policy as it had sold the initial doses of Covishield to the central government at Rs 150 per dose.
"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives," Poonawalla said in a tweet.