India’s Bharat Biotech says regulatory actions taken, no advance payments accepted
Brazil will refuse a $324m Indian COVID-19 vaccine agreement that has mired President Jair Bolsonaro in charges of irregularities, the health minister announced on Tuesday, following the central comptroller’s guidance CGU.
The agreement to purchase 20 million shots of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin drug has become trouble for Bolsonaro after whistleblowers went public with alleged inconsistencies. One Health Ministry official said he informed the president about his concerns.
Bolsonaro, whose reputation has faded as Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll soared past 500,000, has rejected any wrongdoing, stating that he was unaware of any variations on Monday. But difficult questions refuse to go away and may profess difficulties for him onward of next year’s presidential vote.
Brazil Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga stated that his team would examine the allegations throughout the stay at a news conference.
“According to the preliminary analysis of the CGU, there are no irregularities in the contract, but, for compliance, the Health Ministry chose to suspend the contract,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, CNN Brasil proclaimed that the ministry had decided to drop the agreement.
Lower house delegate Luis Miranda, conversing late Friday at a congressional committee investigating Bolsonaro’s administration of the pandemic, stated he kept a meeting with the president in March. He outlined a series of variations in the acquisition of the Covaxin vaccine, manufactured by India’s Bharat Biotech International Ltd.
Luis Ricardo Miranda, brother of the administrator and an executive at the health ministry, informed the politicians that in interpreting the documents associated with the acquisition of the vaccine, information was discovered that did not meet the original text of Bharat Biotech’s agreement with the ministry. He noticed that some variations would be the pay mode, the number of shots, and intermediary companies’ signs.