Adar Poonawalla forced to flee India after threats from centre, claims Maharashtra minister

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Maharashtra Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, Hasan Mushrif on Monday alleged that Serum Insititute of India’s Chief Adar Poonawalla was forced to flee the country as he was receiving threats from the Centre for promising to supply 1.5 crore vaccine doses to Maharashtra.

Addressing a press conference in Ahmednagar, Mushrif said, “Our Serum Insititute of India’s Chief Adar Poonawalla, whose Covishield is being innoculated across the country, was forced to flee to England following death threats by the Centre. Poonawalla is a good friend of NCP chief Sharad Pawar ji. Serum Institute chief had promised to provide 1.5 crore doses of Covid vaccines to Maharashtra. However, following the threats by the Centre, this proposal did not happen.”

Talking about the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive in the state, the state’s rural development and labour minister said, “Maharashtra government has commenced the “Unlock” in a state after some relaxations. However, if Cvodi cases rapidly escalate in the coming days, we will take the necessary action. Maharashtra’s government aims to vaccinate people aged above 45 years on a priority. Vaccines by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson etc need to be jabbed soon.”

On May 13, the state’s health minister Rajesh Tope had said that SII’s CEO Adar Poonawalla had promised Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to deliver 1.5 crore doses of the Covishield vaccine to Maharashtra after May 20.

Tope had told reporters that the state will resume innoculations vaccinations for the for the 18-44 years age group after receiving the vaccine doses. Maharashtra had last month temporarily suspended the vaccination drive for the 18-44 years age group due to the unavailability of vaccines.

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