Highlights:

  • Adar Poonawalla has termed the rules for entry into the United Kingdom as “total chaos”
  • Indian citizens travelling to the UK will be considered “unvaccinated” even if they are completely inoculated
  • India too announced that those arriving in the country from the UK will have to quarantine

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) has termed the rules for entry into the United Kingdom as “total chaos”. The Boris Johnson administration has refused to recognise the vaccination status against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) of the Indian travellers, even if they are administered with Covishield. This phenomenon has sparked a major row with India.

In an exclusive interview with a publication, he claimed, “It is total chaos. I call on all the countries to work together, harmoniously, to sign a mutually agreed pact. At the very least, we can acknowledge a certification programme using vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the new rules disclosed by the UK government, Indian citizens travelling to the UK will be considered “unvaccinated” even if they are completely inoculated. Covishield is the Indian variant of Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccine and the SII develops it locally under that name. Moreover, it is among the six vaccines approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

With respect to their “unvaccinated” status under the new guidelines, Indians will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arriving in the UK. In a retaliatory response, India too announced that those arriving in the country from the UK will have to quarantine for an equal number of days as Indians travelling to the UK, commencing from October 4.

While commenting on the give-and-take measures revealed by India, the British High Commission noted that the UK is “continuing to engage with the Government of India on technical cooperation to people vaccinated by a relevant health authority in India.”

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