The Karnataka government’s attempt to buy COVID-19 vaccines via global tender has fallen flat as the two firms which had submitted bids in response to the tender have not submitted the requisite documents. The state government has, thus, decided to purchase vaccines directly from manufacturing companies.
The process of communication has already been begun directly with vaccine manufacturing companies as the government is not in a position to wait amid the looming threat of possible third wave, said Deputy CM Ashwath Narayana, who also heads the state’s COVID-19 task force. He was speaking at a vaccination drive for artistes of Kannada film industry.
The two firms which applied for global tender were Mumbai-based M/S Bulk MRO Industrial supply Inc and Bangalore-based Thulasi Systems. Bulk MRO Industrial Supply Pvt Ltd had offered to supply Sputnik V vaccine, while Thulasi Systems said it could also provide the single-dose Sputnik Light, in response to a tender that closed on May 24. The government however has decided to reject bids made by two companies to supply Russia’s Sputnik vaccines as both were unable to back their claims with any kind of agreements with the manufacturers. When called by the state government for a virtual meeting both the firms failed to participate.
Karnataka had decided to take the global tender route in early May after a severe shortage in vaccine supplies. It had sought to buy 2 crore vaccines from the international market.
Noting that the future of the lockdown in the state will be decided based on experts’ opinions and facts and figures, Narayan said, however, certain activities need some relaxation to balance life and livelihood. The state is currently under lockdown till June 7.