Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by Serum Institute, may be shifted to Rajeev Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital’s cold-storage facility. But officials said the two cargo terminals at the airport are also capable of maintaining temperatures up to -20 degrees Celsius.
Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), had said the airport was capable of storing at least 27 lakh vials and transporting up to 80 lakh vials every day. The two cargo terminals are equipped with cold-storage facilities capable of handling 1.5 lakh MT per annum. In north India, Delhi and Karnal are the designated hubs to store the vaccines.
“The airport facilities have state-of-the-art temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from 25 to -20 degrees Celsius. Both the terminals have been provided with adequate charging points to handle temperature-controlled containers,” said a DIAL official.
The airport is still awaiting details of the shipment, including its arrival time. “It should arrive in the next 48 hours,” said the official.
“Cool dollies” are in place at runway areas for moving the vaccines to the terminal and back to a flight with an “unbroken” cool chain. The airport is also working on customised solutions to handle vaccines in other temperature ranges.
“There are processes being put in place in association with clearing agencies for express movement of vaccines to and from the airport. Our 24×7 operations of the cargo terminals ensure that the services are available round the clock for uninterrupted supply chain and efficient operations,” said a DIAL official. There are separate dedicated gates at the terminals for fast movement of vehicles carrying vaccines in and out of the airport, he added.
“There is also a truck slot management system at the cargo terminals where facility is provided to pre-book the arrival of trucks,” said the official.