Serum Institute fire caused damage worth Rs 1,000 crore: CEO Adar Poonawalla

Express News Service
MUMBAI: CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) Aadar Poonawalla on Friday said that the institute has suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore due to the fire mishap on Thursday.

“We have suffered heavy loss. However, the fire will not affect the productions and supply of the Covishied vaccine as we had stored them (Covishied vaccines stock) at various places as the contingency plan,” Poonawalla said while talking to reporters.

“But the mishap will surely affect the production and supply of the rotavirus and BCG vaccine,” the SII CEO further said, adding that they were installing machinery for rotavirus and BCG vaccine in the building that gutted in the fire. 

“The financial losses (due to the fire) are to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore,” Poonawala said. “It was a big fire, five people lost their lives. We have compensated their families and will always be with them. Due to the best wishes of people and the blessing of God, our fight against Covid-19 will not be impacted. Our supply to other countries will also continue,” said Poonawalla.

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Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, who also addressed the press after taking stock of the situation at the SII, expressed anguish over the death of the labourers in the fire mishap and said the Covishield production plant is safe.

“The production and supply of Covisheild will continue. The vaccine storage is also safe and secured. The Covishield production plant was quite away from the building that caught the fire. It was a big relief. The fight against Covid-19 will continue,” said Thackeray.

The CM further said that various teams are probing the fire incident. “Let the investigation get completed. It is not correct to say anything now.  After the probe gets over, we will know whether it was an accident or sabotage. The Serum Institute has already announced the ex-gratia for the kin of the deceased. The state government will also extend financial help to them,” Thackeray added.