Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar today inaugurated the launch of Phase-3 regulatory trial of Covaxin at ICMR-NICED in Kolkata, lauding the country's leadership for "effectively tackling" the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dhankhar said NICED (National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases) has been chosen as one among two dozen centres in the country for the third phase trial of the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine, and expressed confidence that the procedure would be conducted smoothly.

"India has done commendably well (when it comes to handling the pandemic). It is all on account of the country's visionary leadership," he said.

The governor further said that the Centre's Ayushman Bharat scheme, which provides free healthcare services, has provided help to many amid the crisis.

Notably, the scheme has not been implemented in West Bengal so far.

The Trinamool Congress government had said in September that it would implement the scheme if funds for the programme are routed through the state administration, contrary to the provisions laid down by the Centre.