Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said that the UK government’s decision to not consider people having received Covishield jabs to be vaccinated is discriminatory, with the policy affecting Indians travelling to the country.
“The non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminating policy and impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The External Affairs Minister has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved,” Shringla was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The UK government has decided to consider people vaccinated in India, Africa, South America, and several other countries as unvaccinated, and make them go through a 10-day quarantine.
Under the new rules, people from India flying to the UK have to undergo a 10-day quarantine, during which they will have to get tested for Covid-19.
On Monday, senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh had slammed the UK government’s move.
Tharoor, Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP, said he has pulled out of a debate at Cambridge Union and withdrawn from the events for the launch of the UK edition of his book “The Battle of Belonging”.
Quoting a thread of tweets by UK news analyst Alex Macheras, Tharoor wrote: “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 (published there as #TheStruggleForIndiasSoul). It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing!”
Rajya Sabha Congress MP Jairam Ramesh too termed the country’s new travel policy “absolutely bizarre”. Quoting the same thread, he wrote: “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.”
(With ANI inputs)