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Opinion

Delhi Airport Says Ready For Covid Vaccine Distribution Challenge

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The distribution of vaccines in India will pose many logistical headaches given the size of the country, its vast population and the number of coronavirus cases, now at more than 10 million.

For its part, India’s busiest airport is “fully ready” to handle Covid-19 vaccines, according to Delhi International Airport Ltd. CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, but there could be problems elsewhere considering the areas more remote may not be equipped with sufficient equipment. and containers. “One of the key challenges will be the availability of the cold chain throughout India,” he said.

The New Delhi airport, Indira Gandhi International, will be a main handling point and has facilities to store 2.7 million vaccine vials at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, as well as cooling chambers that can maintain temperatures as low. like minus 20 degrees. Celsius, said Jaipuriar.

“As soon as we have an indication of what the flow will be, we will do the final overhaul and then we are ready to go,” Jaipuriar said in an interview with Bloomberg News during a tour of the airport facilities in December. 22. He said that there is also the capacity to potentially export vaccines to neighboring countries.

India relies heavily on two domestically-made vaccines from Bharat Biotech International Ltd. and the Serum Institute of India Ltd., which has partnered with AstraZeneca Plc to produce at least 1 billion doses. Pfizer Inc.’s ultra-cold storage requirements for injection make it an unlikely option for widespread use, given India’s patchy healthcare networks and infrastructure, especially in rural areas where most of the nearly 1,400 live. million people in the country.

According to Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, a measure of the best places to be in the Covid-19 era, India is well below the list, ranking 39th out of 53 economies in December, even below the United States and Brazil. . New Zealand, with its closed borders, vaccine agreements and community elimination of the virus, remains number one.

India, along with China, the world’s most populous nation, fell in the rankings from November. While both countries have secured more than two billion shots with multiple developers, that’s less coverage per capita than many smaller venues.

“This is a great logistical exercise that must be elaborated in detail so that the vaccine reaches every corner,” said Jaipuriar.

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