NEW DELHI, JANUARY 12 (IANS): The first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport of the national capital as the country's civil aviation sector has swung into action for providing an expeditious roll-out of India's mega anti-Covid vaccination drive.
The first consignment of 'Covishield' vaccine consisting of 34 boxes and weighing 1,088 kg was carried from Pune to Delhi on SpiceJet flight 8937.
"Today, we have received the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine at our airport. Temperature-controlled facility, ranging from -20 Deg C to +25 Deg C, at our two Cargo terminals can efficiently and safely handle these temperature sensitive vaccines," said Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the CEO of DIAL.
He noted that there are "Cool Chambers" and "Cool Dollies" to maintain temperature required for these vaccines at the cargo terminal and during transit between aircraft and terminal or vice versa.
"Our both the terminals can handle around 5.7 million vials in a day," Jaipuriar said.
He added that DIAL has synergised and collaborated with all the stakeholders including exporters, importers, logistics companies, freight forwarders or agents, government, airlines, cargo terminal operators, to ensure faster turnaround of the vaccines.
During the day, nine flights operated by various domestic airlines will ferry 56.5 lakh doses from Pune to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh, tweeted Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
"Today @airindiain@flyspicejet @goairlinesindia&@IndiGo6E will operate 9 flights from Pune with 56.5 lakh doses to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow & Chandigarh," he said.
In another tweet, Puri said: "Civil aviation sector launches yet another momentous mission. Vaccine movement starts. First two flights operated by aa@flyspicejet & aa@goairlinesindia from Pune to Delhi & Chennai have taken off." Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said that the airline will be carrying multiple vaccine consignments to different Indian cities including Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Patna and Vijayawada through the day.
"SpiceJet is fully committed and prepared to transport the Covid vaccine both within and outside India," he said.
"Today marks the beginning of a long and decisive phase in India's fight against the pandemic and SpiceJet is proud to assist in the biggest vaccination drive in the history of mankind," Singh said.