Top officials from Maharashtra Police have said that for the transport of vehicles carrying vaccines to various locations in the state, the security cover will be provided by the respective local police jurisdictions.
India’s drug regulator has recently granted accelerated approval for two vaccines namely Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR. Pune-headquartered Serum Institute of India (SII) has developed and manufactured Covishield under a licence granted by AstraZeneca and Oxford.
Top officials from Maharashtra Police have that said a meeting was recently held among various stakeholders in which the issue of requirement of security for the passage of refrigerated trucks carrying vaccines was discussed.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) for Maharashtra Rajender Singh told The Indian Express, “It has been decided that the security for the vehicles transporting the vaccine consignments will be provided by the state police till the time it is required and vaccine becomes available. At every place, the respective local police jurisdiction will take care of the security arrangements for the smooth passage of these vehicles in their areas of responsibility.”
A senior official said that police chiefs from various jurisdictions have been instructed to hold discussions with with concerned stakeholders for making these arrangements. Pune is a key jurisdiction for this exercise, primarily because Serum Institute of India is located here.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, “On Saturday, we had a meeting with various stakeholders, including the office bearers of the firm that is handling the transport of vaccines. We will be providing escort and security to the vehicles carrying vaccine consignment for road passage in our area and also to the airport from the source.”
Another senior Pune City Police official said that their systems were in place and they were ready for the providing escort and security cover to the vaccine trucks, the movement of which was expected to start “in a day or two”.