The UK government on Wednesday added Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, to an updated international travel advisory. Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield will no longer be required to undergo compulsory 10-day self-isolation at home or declared location on entry into the country. But with the the latest update on the UK government website omitting India from a list of countries whose jabs from a "relevant public health body" will be considered, the controversy is far from resolved.
According to reports, officials have implied that the problem does not lie with the vaccine itself. Rather, it has been implied that the issue is with India's vaccination certification and procedure. This theory gains additional credence when one considers that India had supplied five million doses of Covishield to the UK earlier this year.
While the UK government or any other individual has not suggested that there is something with India's inoculation platform, this has been interpreted in many different ways. As such, many have now taken to social media platforms contending that the UK government had "blacklisted" the CoWIN app.
RS Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority, told NDTV on Wednesday that there were no issues with the CoWin app or the vaccine certification process. Both parties have said that they are working together to bring about a resolution.
Under the new rules from October 4, unvaccinated Indian travellers or those not vaccinated with Covishield must take a COVID test three days before departure and book in advance for two COVID tests to be taken upon arrival in England.
On arrival in England, the passengers must self-isolate in the place they have confirmed on their passenger locator form for 10 days. A privately paid-for "Test to Release" option does exist at day five, which allows an early end to the 10-day quarantine with a negative PCR test.
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