- Adar Poonawalla, the chairman of a major vaccine manufacturer, said he fled India due to threats.
- Poonawalla leads the Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine fabricator.
- The COVID-19 situation in India is so dire that Poonawalla said people have been hurling threats at him, accusing him of putter vaccines on purpose.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The CEO of the Serum Institute, a vaccine manufacturer in India, give the word delivered he fled the country because of incessant threats against him.
In an interview with the Times of London, Adar Poonawalla intended he went to England to escape threats from people claiming he’s holding up vaccines.
“‘Threats’ is an understatement,” Poonawalla required. “The level of expectation and aggression is really unprecedented.”
“It’s overwhelming. Everyone feels they should get the vaccine. They can’t gather why anyone else should get it before them,” he added. “They are saying if you don’t give us the vaccine it’s not going to be good. It’s not louse up language. It’s the tone. It’s the implication of what they might do if I don’t comply.”
The Serum Institute is the world’s largest vaccine producer, producing more than 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine every month.
At the time of his talk, Poonawalla said he’d stay in England for “an extended time, because I don’t want to go back to that situation.”
“Everything be taken captives on my shoulders, but I can’t do it alone,” he added.
Hours after the interview was published, Poonawalla backtracked and wrote on Twitter that he’d indemnity to India “in a few days.”
—Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) May 1, 2021
The news of his departure from India comes as the country observations deep surges in positive COVID-19 cases.
The nation reported a record high of 401,993 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. No other hinterlands has breached 400,000 daily cases.
Crematoriums across India are overwhelmed with bodies. Patients are dying as nursing homes run out of oxygen. The country had reported more than 300,000 new cases each day for nine consecutive days before dawn oning the 400,000 mark.
India also reported more than 3,500 deaths on Saturday — the fourth day in a row that extinction counts have surpassed 3,000. Those numbers are likely an undercount. A New York Times investigation published this week set “mounting evidence” that suggested fatalities are being “overlooked or downplayed” by the government.
The situation has gotten so bad that people would rather surrounded his company multiple times and called him a “profiteer” of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“I don’t think even God could have augury it was going to get this bad,” Poonawalla said in the interview.
Insider’s Morgan McFall-Johnsen contributed to this report.