Pune, January 21: A fire broke out at Terminal 1 gate of Serum Institute of India (SII) in Maharashtra’s Pune. A thick cloud of smoke engulfed the area. The exact cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained. Senior officials have rushed to the spot. Reportedly, the production of Covishield will not be affected due to the blaze. Serum Institute of India, Apart From Covishield, Is Working on Four More Vaccines Against Coronavirus, Says Official.

According to reports, the fire broke out at an under-construction building of SII. Till now, there are no reports of any collateral damage and injuries in the blaze. The spot where blaze erupted is reportedly at a few minutes drive from the production facility of Covishield. More details are still awaited. Pune Hospital Fire: Blaze Reported at ICU Ward Of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital at Pune Cantonment.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took stock of the situation.  he is currently in touch with Pune Municipal corporation.  He has directed the state machinery to coordinate and ensure that situation is under control. Meanwhile, SII CEO Adar Poonawala confirmed that there was no loss of life in the incident.

He said, "Thank you everyone for your concern and prayers. So far the most important thing is that there have been no lives lost or major injuries due to the fire, despite a few floors being destroyed." He also assured that there would be no loss to the production of Covishield.

The SII is manufacturing the vaccine against COVID-19 in partnership with  Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma firm AstraZeneca. Earlier, in January this year, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval to Covishield for emergency usage. Notably, India began its vaccination drive against COVID-19 on January 16.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 21, 2021 03:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).