A shipment of 320 doses of Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine went missing from a Jaipur government hospital on Wednesday, reported ANI. The superintendent at HB Kanwatiya Hospital in Shastri Nagar area has registered a case with the police.
“We received report from the hospital that 320 doses of Covaxin are missing from there,” said the officer in charge at the police station, according to Mint. “We have registered an FIR [first information report] with charges of theft. Investigation is underway, CCTV footage will be checked. Action will be taken if any hospital staff is found involved.”
The Covaxin vials – 32 of them – were allegedly stolen while it was being transported from the cold storage to the vaccine centre, reported India Today. One vial contains 10 doses of the vaccine.
Chief Medical Officer Narottam Sharma confirmed that 320 doses have gone missing from the hospital. “We have sought a probe into the incident and have lodged a case with the police,” he told India Today. “We were shocked to see that 320 vaccine doses have gone missing...”
Up to Sunday, the hospital officials had a stock of 200 doses, according to NDTV. On Monday, a batch of 489 doses was received. The matter came to light later on Monday when the stocks were being checked again and the hospital staff found 320 doses missing.
“There’s systematic record of doses coming at centre,” the nodal officer of the vaccination centre told ANI. “So it’s suspected that vaccines went missing from store.”
This comes at a time when India is in the middle of a severe second wave of coronavirus infections and several states have complained of vaccine shortage. India on Wednesday reported 1,84,372 new Covid-19 infections – the highest single-day rise in cases since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The overall case count rose to 1,38,73,825. With 1,027 more deaths in 24 hours, the toll went up to 1,72,085.
Rajasthan has also been badly hit by the pandemic. On Wednesday, Jaipur city reported 1,325 new cases – the biggest single-day rise in the second wave. With 5,528 fresh infections, Rajasthan’s tally of active cases is over 40,000.
Rajasthan is also the second state after Maharashtra to administer more than 1 crore doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Up to Sunday, 99.83 lakh doses were administered. However, last week Rajasthan had warned of vaccine shortages. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said vaccination centres in the state would close in 48 hours if stocks were not replenished.