Brazil To Suspend Covaxin Deal As A "Preventive Measure" Amid Allegations Of Corruption Against Bolsonaro Govt

Brazil To Suspend Covaxin Deal As A "Preventive Measure" Amid Allegations Of Corruption Against Bolsonaro GovtBharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous vaccine against coronavirus. (Swarajya Magazine)

Brazil will reportedly suspend a $324 million contract for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin as a "preventive measure" amid a probe into accusations of alleged irregularities against President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bharat Biotech and Brazilian authorities have signed a $324 million contract for import of 20 million Covaxin doses in February this year.

Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga while addressing a press conference on Tuesday (29 June) said that the ministry is going to carry out an administrative investigation to verify all aspects of the issue that are being raised.

"As soon as we have more concrete data, we will communicate," Queiroga said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Brazil's Federal Comptroller General (CGU) Wagner Rosario said that the agency will investigate the process of purchasing the vaccine.

"We suspended the deal as a simple preventive measure, since there are complaints that could not be explained well by the complainant, so we opened a preliminary investigation last week," said Rosario, as quoted by CNN Brasil.

"We have put in a reinforced team for the verification. We hope to be very quick in this process, and we hope that in no more than 10 days we will already have an answer for this analysis," Rosario added.

The negotiation between the Bolsonaro government and Need Medicines - the Brazilian pharmaceutical company that brokered the Covaxin deal - has been under the scanner, reports ANI.

President Bolsonaro is being accused of overlooking possible corruption in a deal to purchase coronavirus vaccines.

Bolsonaro, however, has slammed the senate probe into government's Covid-19 response, saying that it is aimed at undermining his administration.

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