Covid-19: Delhi’s biggest storage facility at Rajiv Gandhi hospital gets ready; waits for first consignment of vaccines

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Earlier, the officials had said that the government might also use its Civil Lines centre for the storage of the vaccine.Earlier, the officials had said that the government might also use its Civil Lines centre for the storage of the vaccine.In view of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approving the use of two Coronavirus vaccines in the country, the work for laying the infrastructure for the world’s largest vaccination programme has picked up pace in various parts of the country. The Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) in the national capital has been turned into the first Covid-19 vaccine storage facility and it is ready to undertake the storage of the first consignment of vaccines, The Indian Express reported.

By Monday, the facility had completed the setup of all the equipment necessary for the storage of the vaccine. RGSSH, which is situated in Delhi’s Dilshad Garden area in East Delhi, is one of the city’s biggest hospitals with a capacity of 650 beds.

In consonance with the parameters set for adequate storage of the vaccine, the hospital has installed a total of 40 refrigerators and freezers to keep the vaccines at an optimum temperature between 2 and 8 degree Celsius. Dr. Chhavi Gupta, media spokesperson at RGSSH, told The Indian Express that the work from the hospital’s end has been completed and the hospital is now waiting for the first consignment of the vaccine. Senior Delhi government officials told The Indian Express that the government is planning to keep the entire stock of vaccine at RGSSH. Earlier, the officials had said that the government might also use its Civil Lines centre for the storage of the vaccine.

Dr. Sunila Garg, director and professor of the department of community medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College, told The Indian Express that the storage capacity at RGSSH is more than adequate and the Civil Lines storage centre will not be required. RGSSH in all probability will hence act as the centre of the vaccination drive and the vaccines will be transported from the facility to over 603 cold chain points identified in the city which will act as the vaccination centres.

On Sunday, the DCGI gave its go-ahead to two Coronavirus vaccine candidates –Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute and the indigenous Covid-19 vaccine developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech in cooperation with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)—for restricted emergency use approval against the Covid-19 in the country.

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