UK recognises Covishield after India outcry

UK recognises Covishield after India outcry
Covishield is India's most widely used vaccine. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The British government has updated its foreign travel rules to clarify that the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield, is an approved jab.

But it is unclear whether people from India can travel to the United Kingdom without having to self-isolate for 10 days.

The UK government’s refusal to recognise India’s Covishield had triggered a firestorm of protests in India.

With more than 721 million doses of Covishield vaccine administered so far, it is India’s primary vaccine against Covid-19.

On Tuesday, India described the UK travel guidance as “discriminatory” and asked the British government to stop requiring fully-vaccinated Indians to self-isolate on arrival.

At present, India is not listed as a country where people are recognised as fully vaccinated even if they have had both doses of an approved vaccine.

So, Indians travelling to the UK have to self-isolate as well as book and take coronavirus tests before they are allowed to move freely.

The UK announced the new travel rules last week – which will come into effect on 4 October. The guidance mandate that travellers from a number of countries arriving in the UK don’t have to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. India wasn’t included in that list either.

Prominent Indians called the rule “racist”, “asinine” and “highly discriminatory” among other things.

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had taken up the issue “strongly” with his UK counterpart Liz Truss, India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

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