India calls UK’s new vaccine policy ‘discriminatory’

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The British government was accused of “discrimination” for mandatory quarantine, even for fully vaccinated people arriving from India, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, with their newly changed COVID-19 19 under the relevant travel guidelines.

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India’s foreign ministry on Tuesday described Britain’s decision not to recognize ‘Covishield’ – the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, “discriminatory”.

India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla warned that the country was within its rights to “take reciprocal measures” if the matter was not resolved.


“Covishield’s non-recognition is a discriminatory policy and affects our citizens traveling to the UK. The Secretary of State has strongly raised the issue with the new UK Foreign Secretary. I am told that some assurances have been given That this issue will be resolved,” Mr Shringla said in New Delhi.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar raised the issue with his British counterpart Liz Truss in New York and reportedly urged him to remove the quarantine requirement for vaccinated Indians. Urging for early resolution of the quarantine issue in mutual interest,” Mr Jaishankar said in a tweet.

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“We have offered mutual recognition of vaccines to our partner countries. But these are interactions. If we do not get satisfaction we will be within our rights to implement reciprocal measures,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the rules in the UK, travelers who have received both doses of the Kovidshield vaccine must be quarantined for 10 days. The new rules will take effect from October 4 and are an attempt to streamline the current “red, amber, green traffic light system” into a single red list of countries.

However, according to New Delhi, India provided 4 million doses of the Kovidshield vaccine to the UK on their request. “The core issue is that the vaccine is called Covishield, whose original manufacturer is in the UK. It has been used by their health system,” the statement said.

Apart from India, many other countries in the Middle East, South America, Africa and Russia are troubled by the change in UK’s travel policy.

Meanwhile, author and opposition MP Shashi Tharoor withdrew from a planned book tour of the UK to protest the quarantine rules. In a tweet on Monday, he wrote: “It is disgraceful to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. British reviewing”.

Another legislator from India, Jairam Ramesh, said “it smacks of racism”. “It is absolutely odd considering that Covishield was originally developed in the UK and Serum Institute, Pune has supplied to that country as well,” he said.

Covishield and Covaxin are two India-made coronavirus vaccines that have been administered to millions of Indians so far.


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