Amid UK row, Narendra Modi calls for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates
Washington, Sep 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that international travel should be made easier through mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, amid several countries adopting different sets of rules to allow foreigners to enter their territory in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his video remarks at the Global COVID Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, Modi also said India is ramping up production capacity of existing vaccines and the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open so that vaccine supplies to other countries can be resumed.
"We also need to focus on addressing the pandemic's economic effects. To that end, international travel should be made easier, through mutual recognition of vaccine certificates," Modi said.
His remarks comes on a day when the UK government issued an updated international travel advisory to include AstraZeneca Covishield among the eligible COVID-19 vaccine formulations but kept India out of the 18 countries on an approved vaccinations list, requiring Indians to follow rules set out for "non-vaccinated" travellers.
Despite the inclusion of Covishield, Indian travellers are not exempt from the quarantine rules under the UK's new international travel norms that will come into force from October 4.
On Monday, the US had announced a new international travel system under which fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed to enter the country beginning early November. Former US President Donald Trump had imposed a blanket ban on foreign travellers from entering the US at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
The new system adopted by the Biden administration essentially lifts the travel ban on countries like India that the US had earlier enforced. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH