The 'Y' security cover will entail about four to five armed commandos with him at all times.

Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonwalla
news Security Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 08:19

Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla has been accorded 'Y' category security across India by the Central Reserve Police Force (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 Union 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 four to five 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 this week, Adar Poonawalla said that the company has decided to reduce the price of its COVID-19 vaccine by Rs 100. 
“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,” he tweeted.

The move came after many, including health experts and opposition leaders, had questioned the difference in prices of the vaccine as the government opened the vaccination drive to all those above 18 years of age from May 1.

(With PTI inputs)

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