India’s PM urges states to prepare cold storage facilities for vaccine

Narendra Modi’s comments came in a meeting with state leaders.

A health worker takes a swab sample to test for Covid-19 on a street in Mumbai, India (Rajanish Kakade/AP)
A health worker takes a swab sample to test for Covid-19 on a street in Mumbai, India (Rajanish Kakade/AP)

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has urged states that are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases to establish cold storage facilities for Covid-19 vaccines.

Mr Modi’s Tuesday meeting with state leaders came as India’s total infections soared past 9.18 million.

More than 134,000 Indians have died due to Covid-19.

Mr Modi said his government is keeping track of vaccine development in the country and is in touch with vaccine developers across the world.

He said: “Our priority is to make the vaccine available for all.”

India is home to some of the world’s biggest vaccine makers and there are five vaccine candidates under different phases of trial in the country.

But the state-run cold chain facilities used to keep some vaccines consistently refrigerated would be inadequate for the enormous challenge of rolling out a Covid-19 vaccine.

To address this issue, Mr Modi’s government is augmenting the cold chain and transport mechanism for the vaccines.

It is also readying a database of healthcare and frontline workers who will be inoculated first.

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