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Mumbai civic body gets 3 bids for Sputnik, but firms show no proof of deal with manufacturer

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had floated global tender for procurement of 10 million doses of Covid vaccines. Extends deadline for receiving bids to 25 May.

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Mumbai: The Mumbai civic body has received three bids for the supply of the Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine but none of the companies have produced any documentation connecting them with the vaccine manufacturer.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had floated a global tender for the procurement of 10 million doses of Covid vaccines earlier this month. The civic body has now extended the last date for the submission of bids to 25 May from the earlier 18 May deadline, hoping to get more responses.

It has, meanwhile, asked the three companies that have put in bids, to submit more documents.

“The issue is that the three companies who claim that they can supply the Sputnik vaccine have not given any documents that connect them with the manufacturer,” P. Velarusu, additional municipal commissioner, told ThePrint. “We don’t know from where they intend to procure the vaccine. We have asked them to provide these documents, show what agreements they have with manufacturers and so on.”

Also read: How this IAS officer ensured ailing Maharashtra district was ready to battle 2nd Covid wave

One UK-based firm, two Indian companies

Of the three companies that have submitted bids, one is from the United Kingdom while the other two are based in India.

A senior BMC official said the two Indian companies seem more like medicine importers.

The BMC does not know if these companies have supplied Covid vaccines anywhere else in the world.

“That was not a requirement in our tender conditions. But what we are absolutely firm on is that these companies must have authorisation from the manufacturer,” said the official quoted above.

He added that so far there haven’t been any queries, either formally or informally, from any other companies in response to the global tender.

‘Price slightly higher than domestic manufacturers’

The three companies that have shown interest in supplying Sputnik V for Mumbai have all quoted price points between $18 and $20 per two doses.

“At the current rate, this works out to Rs 750 per dose, which is more expensive than the domestic manufacturers. But we are fine with that,” the civic official quoted above said.

Serum Institute of India is supplying Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, at Rs 300 per dose to state governments, while Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is supplying the indigenous Covaxin at Rs 400.

Other than the BMC, civic bodies of Navi Mumbai and Thane, Mumbai’s satellite towns, have also floated global tenders for Covid-19 vaccines. The Maharashtra government too has floated its own global tender for the supply of Covid vaccines.

Mumbai has so far administered 29,07,071 Covid vaccine doses. However, of late, the drive has been sluggish due to low supply of vaccine doses.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: How Goa went from a 5% Covid test positivity rate in March to 50% today


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