UK may review its new COVID travel policy for India: Sources

#Business, #Companies, #coronavirus

(Representative image)

The UK’s decision to treat fully vaccinated people arriving from India as ‘unvaccinated’, may be reviewed.

Sources within the government told Moneycontrol that the matter will have to be reconsidered by the UK government.

“India has a robust platform like CoWin to register, authenticate and issue vaccine certificates, with a QR code verification, even some so-called developed countries don’t have this kind of platform,” the source said.

“Everybody knows that it is identical, it is been proven. We have submitted the data to EMA and the UK MHRA. They are reviewing it, I have had a personal consultation with the regulator there, they going to get back to us shortly,” Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII told CNBC-TV18.

Poonawalla said he is unable to understand “why they (countries) have not been able to come together.”

“They have to be united on one regulatory quality standards, clinical trials, and for vaccine certificate approvals,” Poonawalla added.

The UK government has said if a person has been vaccinated in Africa, or South America, or countries including UAE, India, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia, they will be considered unvaccinated and will have to follow quarantine rules.

Unvaccinated people have to take a pre-departure test, take a COVID-19 test, and quarantine at home or in the place where the person is staying for 10 days after arrival in the UK. This will further increase the burden on people.

Many people have questioned the UK government’s decision on social media.

“Because of this I have pulled out of a debate at the @cambridgeunion & out of launch events for the UK edition of my book #TheBattleOfBelonging,” Shashi Tharoor, Congress Party Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram tweeted.

“It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing!” he added.

India uses Covishield which is an identical version of AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine that’s used extensively in the UK. Moreover, India sent two million doses of Covishield vaccine to the UK in early March when it was faced vaccine shortage and surge of cases due to Alpha variant or B.1.1.7. Covishield was approved by WHO.

Earlier, Covishield didn’t find a place in the EU Digital Covid Certificate, or the “green pass” as it is popularly known, which has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers on entry placed due to the pandemic.

“Absolutely bizarre considering Covishield was originally developed in the UK and The Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country too! This smacks of racism,” said Congress Party Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh in his tweet.

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