Just days before the Union cabinet expansion led to the appointment of a new Health Minister, Adar Poonawalla's vaccine-making facility in Pune hosted a special guest - Mansukh Mandaviya. Yesterday, Mr Mandaviya replaced Harsh Vardhan as the Health Minister at a time when the country is preparing for a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. And today, Mr Poonawalla, the head of the world's largest vaccine-maker, Serum Institute of India, tweeted a welcome message for the new Health Minister.
"Congratulations Hon. @mansukhmandviya Ji. As our new Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare India and Chemical & Fertilizers, we look forward to your leadership as we navigate through this pandemic. It was a pleasure interacting with you during your visit to @SerumInstIndia" Mr Poonawalla tweeted.
Congratulations Hon. @mansukhmandviya Ji. As our new Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare India and Chemical & Fertilizers, we look forward to your leadership as we navigate through this pandemic. It was a pleasure interacting with you during your visit to @SerumInstIndia. https://t.co/84jmzkrKxc— Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) July 8, 2021
Mr Poonawalla's company, which makes Covishield, and the Health Ministry would continue to work closely since the pandemic is still raging a year after it emerged from China.
The Serum Institute had on July 4 hosted Mr Mandaviya at its large facility in Pune and posted a photo along with its officials. "It was our pleasure and honour to receive Shri @mansukhmandviya Ji, who visited our facility in Pune, to understand the challenges of vaccine production. He and our CEO @adarpoonawalla had a detailed discussion on ways to strengthen the Indian vaccine industry even further," the SII had tweeted.
That meeting is now being seen as Mr Mandaviya familiarising himself with the new stint he would start only a few days later. Fighting the pandemic is no easy task and the new Health Minister big challenges in areas of vaccination and vaccine development, among others.
Coronavirus variants of concern have been found in 174 districts in 35 states and Union Territories, with the highest in Maharashtra, Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat, the Health Ministry said yesterday.
The B.1.617 lineage, first detected in Maharashtra, was linked with the unusual rise observed in several districts of the state. It is now found in many states, the Health Ministry has said.