The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has received Sputnik V bids to import 10 million doses of the Russian-origin COVID shot at the cost of ₹700 crores. Along with the expectation of more such global tenders, Mumbai's municipality aims to roll out an aggressive inoculation campaign, for the benefit of all residents. As per reports, the BMC will attempt to vaccinate every citizen in the world's second-most populous city within a period of 60 days (2 months).
Bolstered vaccination against the 'third wave' threat
The Municipal Commissioner of the BMC has reportedly stated that Mumbai estimates to spend about ₹7 billion to procure the required number of shots to launch its ambitious vaccination drive. While the BMC's laudable Mumbai Model has helped to arrest the second swell of infection, a faster vaccination drive is touted to be the most effective against the possible 'third wave'. As per reports, Mumbai will have to shed over ₹8 billion to just run its provisional centres to tackle the surge in patients swept in by another spike.
This number has been forecasted keeping in mind that Mumbai was the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak, during both the previous waves in India. Incidentally, India's financial capital also became the first city to independently seek to impost vaccines from global agencies. The city floated international tenders last week to receive bids to keep up with the demand for vaccines amid the struggles of shortage of locally available doses.
Mumbai to launch 60-day vaccination strategy
The Municipal Commissioner of BMC has reportedly said that the civic body will launch the 6-day vaccination strategy once it receives 15 million vaccination shots. Of these, 10 million will be used for the inoculation of the 18 to 45-years group and the remaining 5 million for the 45-plus category. The three bids obtained so far include a proposal from London-based Taliesin International Ltd. and two other companies from Hyderabad which claim authorized distributorship from Sputnik marketer, he informed.
The import tender has been extended until May 25, from the earlier deadline of May 18. All large global manufacturers are invited including Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Bharat Biotech Ltd.
Presently, Mumbai's test positivity rate stands a 5%, drastically below the alarming 31% reported a month ago. The Municipal Commissioner is hopeful that it will further dip down to 2% by the end of May.
- With inputs from Bloomberg