As India continues to reel under the unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delhi government has floated a global expression of interest (EOI) for the procurement of 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine doses on an urgent basis. The Directorate General of Health Services in the EOI document said that the offered COVID-19 vaccine must be duly approved by the competent authority of the government of India.
Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has said that if the COVID vaccine is not yet approved for use in India, the manufacturers, importers or authorised agents of the maker can apply but should obtain requisite permission from the Central drugs Standard Control Organisation.
"The Health and Family Welfare Department of NCT of Delhi intends to procure SARS-Cov2 vaccine on an urgent basis to control and manage the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Expression of Interest is hereby invited from international manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine or their authorised agents or from direct importers with appropriate licence to import the vaccine in India," the document read.
After CM Kejriwal-led Delhi government floated the tender, the bidders have been asked to submit their offer or expression of interest through e-mail by 5 pm on June 7. The bidders have also been asked to mention the quantity they can clearly commit for supplies to the Central Procurement Agency of the Delhi government in the shortest time after taking into consideration all necessary factors.
As India continues to inoculate its population against the Coronavirus infection, the Centre has so far approved 3 COVID vaccines- Covishield, Covaxin and Russia's Sputnik V. The Serum Institute of India (SII) makes Covishield (under licence from AstraZeneca), while Bharat Biotech makes the indigenously-developed Covaxin.
In an online briefing on Friday, CM Arvind Kejriwal had announced that the city government will start the process of lifting the lockdown gradually while cautioning that whatever gains Delhi has made in the one-and-a-half months of lockdown, cannot be squandered away by lifting the restrictions in one go.
As per the latest health bulletin, 1,141 fresh cases and 139 deaths were recorded on Friday. These new fatalities pushed the death toll from COVID-19 here to 23,951. The number of people under home isolation dipped to 7,111 from 8,247 on Thursday while the number of containment zones dropped to 22,701 from 34,354 a day before, the bulletin said.
According to data shared with the Centre, 52.98 lakh doses have been administered in Delhi since the inoculation exercise started on January 16. Of this, 36.92 lakh were Covishield doses and 16.06 were Covaxin jabs. A maximum number of 1.41 lakh people were vaccinated on May 10.