PRESIDENT of the Fyzabad Chamber of Industry and Commerce Clint Arjoon has reported information he has about Pfizer covid19 vaccines entering this country illegally to the Health Ministry. He says an investigation is under way.
On Wednesday morning, during TV6’s Morning Edition talk show with host Fazeer Mohammed, Arjoon said he “knew for a fact” that “a certain medical facility” illegally imported Pfizer vaccines for its staff.
Asked about this during the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on Wednesday morning, chief medical officer Dr Roshan Parasram said to date, the Pfizer vaccine “has not been imported through legal government channels.”
The only vaccines the government has received for public distribution are the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines.
He said he had confirmed with the head of the Food and Drug Division that no such requests were made to that department. Hence, no approvals were granted.
But he asked those with information on the illegal importation to report to him.
Initially, when contacted by Newsday on Wednesday, Arjoon said, “Why should it be reported? Has anything ever come out saying that someone privately bringing in the Pfizer vaccine is illegal?
“Probably he (Parasram) don’t know if it was approved…When they find guns and thing after the fact, it means it was approved and then after they find it? Because for guns to reach into people’s homes, isn’t it the Customs that’s clearing the guns?”
But on Thursday, he told Newsday he had made the report ,as his intention behind revealing the information during the talk show was never to create mischief.
Now, he said, he cannot say much as he does not wish to compromise the investigation.
He said he has known about the importation for approximately a month.
Asked whether, if he should get any such information in the future, he’d immediately report it, he said, “Yes, yes.
“When I answered that question and gave that statement in the media on Wednesday morning, it was not that I had that on my agenda…How the conversation was going, I just happened to mention that.
“I have had that information close to a month ago. It’s just that I never did anything with that information.”
Newsday then asked, “Had the interview with Fazeer never happened, would you have come forward with this information?”
He said, “I honestly can’t say that I would have or wouldn’t have. It’s just how the conversation was going. I didn’t share that statement to do any intentional damage or to create any sort of bacchanal. It’s just that I had knowledge of it.”
Last week, the Prime Minister insisted at a press conference that “at no time during the management of this pandemic did the government ever take a position to the private sector that, ‘You don’t get involved in vaccine projection. We keep it under our own selves and you don’t bring any vaccines here because we don’t want it.’
“All we have said all along, over and over and over, is that we, as a sovereign state, have been alongside others trying to buy vaccines, and vaccines are not available in commerce.”