Karnataka will soon have a Covaxin manufacturing plant of Bharat Biotech in Malur in Karnataka‚Äôs Kolar district close to Bengaluru, Deputy Chief Minister of the State CN Ashwathnarayan said on Friday. The construction work has already begun and the government has invited investors to make the vaccine in Karnataka, he said.
"Covaxin vaccine-manufacturing plant of Bharat Biotech will be established at the earliest in Malur Industrial Area of neighbouring Kolar district," Narayan, who is the Information Technology Biotechnology (IT-BT) Minister and heads the State COVID-19 task force, said in a statement.
"The government has approved the project and the company is processing administrative requisites. Civil construction works have already been started and this will be completed soon to facilitate the functioning of the manufacturing operations as early as possible, he said. According to him, Malur, which is close to Bengaluru, has good transport facilities. He said the state government would welcome and give full cooperation to any company engaged in vaccine manufacturing.
On April 16, the Science and Technology Ministry under the Union government had issued a press release stating that a grant of Rs 65 crore will be given to Bharat Biotech to the company's facility near Bengaluru. The release said that the facility is "being repurposed to increase the capacity of vaccine production."
In order to combat the second wave and as a preparation to face the possible third wave, every Assembly constituency in Karnataka needs to have a 100-bed hospital with oxygenated and ICU beds, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwathnarayan said. So far, 1.10 crore people in the state have been inoculated but vaccination for people in the age group of 18-44 years has been put off due to the shortage of vaccines. The government has ordered three crore vaccines and has paid money to the manufacturers but till now, only seven lakh vaccines have been received. The state has reported 41,779 fresh cases and 373 fatalities on May 14 despite stringent restrictions on the movement of people from April 27 till May 24.