Releasing a statement on Twitter, Poonawalla wrote, “I would like to clarify things since my comments may have been misinterpreted. First of all, vaccine manufacturing is a specialized process, it is therefore not possible to ramp up production overnight. We also need to understand that the population of India is huge and to produce enough doses for all adults is not an easy task. Even the most advanced countries and companies are struggling in relatively smaller populations.
Secondly, we have been working closely with the Government of India since April last year. We have got all kinds of support, be it scientific, regulatory and financial. As of today, we received total orders of over 26 crore doses, of which we supplied more than 15 crore doeses. We also have got 10 per cent advance of Rs 1732.50 crroe by GOI fo the next tranche of 11 crroe doses in the next few months. Another 11 crroe dosese would be supplised in the second channel for states and private hospitals in the next few months. Lastly, we undestand that everyone wants the vaccine to be available in the quickest possible time. That is our endeavour too and we are making every effort to achieve that. We shall work even harder and strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19.”
The statement from India’s COVID-19 vaccine maker Adar Poonawalla comes at a time when he alleged during an exclusive interview with ‘Times’ that he ad been receiving threats in India and that he and his family left the country for London after unprecedented “pressure and aggression” over the demand of vaccines. However, later, Poonawalla stated that he would return to the country in a few days.
Amongst multiple reports it is important that correct information be shared with the public. pic.twitter.com/nzyOZwVBxH
— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) May 3, 2021
On Monday, a Maharashtra minister said that Poonawalla should lodge a police complaint in connection with the alleged threats that he has received, and assured the state government will conduct an in-depth probe into it. “Poonawalla should lodge a complaint giving details of threat and the phone number from where he got the call. We will conduct an in-depth probe into it,” Minister of State Home Shamburaje Desai told reporters.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole urged Poonawalla to return to India and assured that his party will take the responsibility of his security. “People’s lives are important and the vaccine production should take place in India only. The Centre has already given him ‘Y’ category security. More (security) would be given if necessary,” he said.
The Congress will also take the responsibility of protecting him, said Patole, whose party shares power in Maharashtra with the Shiv Sena and NCP. “No one will touch him. He should return and work on vaccine production,” the Congress leader said.
Earlier, NCP leader and Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said the country needs to know the truth behind the alleged threats to Poonawalla.