Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla will be given Y category security cover across the country, ANI reported on Wednesday, citing an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Central Reserve Police Force will provide security to him.
The Centre has issued orders after conducting a detailed threat assessment, according to NDTV.
Prakash Kumar Singh, the director of government and regulatory affairs at Pune-based Serum Institute, had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 16, PTI reported. He requested that Poonawalla be provided security as he was getting threats from various groups regarding the coronavirus vaccine supplies.
Serum Institute’s Covishield is one of the two vaccines being used in India’s massive inoculation drive.
Earlier in the day, Poonawalla announced that the company was reducing the price of its vaccine to the state governments from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose as a “philanthropic gesture”. “This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives,” he tweeted.
The company was facing intense criticism from all quarters for its pricing of the Covishield vaccine.
So far, more than 14.53 crore shots have been administered, while 2.38 crore beneficiaries have received both their doses, according to government data.