U.K. quarantine norm: ‘Fear and paranoia with regard to travel needs to evolve,’ says Rajeev Chandrashekhar

Atmosphere of the unknown leading to most decisions, says Minister of State For Telecom

As India and the U.K. are going back and forth on the recognition of Indian-made Covishield and vaccine certificates issued by New Delhi for travel to Britain without the mandatory quarantine period, Minister of State For Telecom Rajeev Chandrashekhar said the “fear and paranoia” that has gripped the world with regard to travel during the pandemic needed to evolve as countries came to grips with COVID-19.

Answering a question on the current exchange between the Indian and British governments on terms of travel and vaccine passports and recognition (or lack of) of Indian vaccine certificates even of Astra-Zeneca developed Covishield by the British government, Mr. Chandrashekhar said the general “atmosphere of the unknown” was informing most decisions by various countries.

“During this pandemic, fear and paranoia is high with regard to travel. As countries get more confident, these things will have to evolve on terms of their response.” He said this was his personal opinion that some countries will take a stronger view on what vaccine will be accepted by their medical fraternity because of the “unknown about the pandemic” whereas earlier “an approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO)” used to suffice.

Mr. Chandrashekhar was addressing a presser at the BJP headquarters here on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. in the next few days.

“As the world will seek a more rule-based, transparent and democratic future in the post-COVID order, India under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi will play a most significant role in shaping it,” he said.

He said Prime Minister Modi had in the last 18 months especially led India not only under the challenging circumstances of the pandemic but also amid terror threats and expansionism by other countries.

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