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CISF takes over security of Covaxin manufacturer Bharat Biotech's Hyderabad campus

Covaxin is one of the three vaccines authorised in the country against COVID-19


The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over the security of vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech's premises in Hyderabad on Monday to protect it against any terror threat or sabotage that may lead to a biological disaster.

A contingent of 64 personnel, headed by an inspector-rank officer of the paramilitary force, was inducted at a ceremony held at the Genome Valley in the Shameerpet area of Telangana's capital city, a CISF spokesperson said in Delhi.

Bharat Biotech produces a number of vaccines, including Covaxin, one of the three vaccines authorised in the country to be injected for COVID-19 immunisation, with Covishield and Sputnik V being the other two.

Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director (CMD) Dr Krishna Ella, joint MD Dr Suchitra Ella, CISF Inspector General in-charge of the southern sector Anjana Sinha and Deputy IG (south zone-II) Shyamala Dinavahi were part of the induction ceremony, the spokesperson said.

The CISF flag was unfurled on the Bharat Biotech campus.

"The bio-hazard of any accidental or sabotage-related leakage of the material has the potential of a widespread disaster.

"In the light of the increased threat perception to the biotechnology company, BBIL is inherently vulnerable to threats from anti-nationals and saboteurs. The CISF will provide a round-the-clock armed security cover to the Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), Hyderabad," the spokesperson of the force said.

A statement issued by the CISF said Bharat Biotech is an Indian bio-technology company engaged in drug discovery, drug development and manufacture of vaccines, bio-therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.

"BBIL is one of the first to develop vaccines for viral diseases like Chikungunya and Zika. It also produces vaccines for Japanese Encephalitis and it is the first fully indigenous manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin in India," the statement said.

The force had earlier carried out a survey of the facility following a directive issued by the Union home ministry to provide an armed security cover to the premises of the company.

The force will now control access to the facility and its armed troops,  including a vehicle-borne quick response team (QRT), will be stationed at vantage positions in case of a terrorist attack or sabotage.

This is the 11th facility in the private sector that will be guarded by the CISF.

It was authorised to secure private installations of public importance following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, where a few five-star luxury hotels and a Jewish Chabad house were targeted by members of the Pakistan-based terror outfit, Lashkar-e-Toiba.

The other private facilities where the CISF is deployed include the Infosys campuses in Bengaluru, Pune and Mysuru, the Reliance Corporate IT Park in Navi Mumbai and Yoga exponent Ramdev's Patanjali factory premises in Uttarakhand's Haridwar. 

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