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Asad Umar slams UK for not accepting WHO-approved Chinese vaccines

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Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar. — Radio Pakistan/File
  • ‘Health considerations or hangover of a colonial mindset?’ questions Asad Umar as UK govt changes its travel advisory.
  • On Wednesday, the UK updated its COVID-19 travel rules.
  • China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are approved by the WHO but these are not approved by the UK govt.

Reacting to the United Kingdom’s decision to not accept Chinese vaccines and placing Pakistan on the “rest of the world” list, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar Thursday slammed the changes made by the UK government in its travel advisory.

Umar wrote on Twitter: “[The] UK decides gora certificates [and] vaccines are okay but most non-gora vaccine certificates [and] Chinese vaccines are not. This despite widespread evidence of fake certificates in [the] US [and] Europe.”

The minister highlighted that Chinese vaccines are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Health considerations or hangover of a colonial mindset?” Umar raised the question as the UK government decided not to include Chinese vaccines in its list of UK-approved vaccines.

Changes in UK’s travel advisory

On Wednesday, the UK updated its COVID-19 travel rules. Pakistan is now on a new “rest of the world” list — and is not on the list of the countries whose vaccination certificates are recognised in the UK.

Pakistan was removed from the red list and was placed on the amber list on September 22 with several other countries, but in the latest travel advisory, the UK said it was working with Pakistani authorities to recognise the vaccine certificates issued by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

According to the changes, Pakistani travellers should follow these rules:

  • Take a PCR test within 72 hours pre-departure
  • Self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, or test to release on day 5
  • Book day 2/8 PCR tests and complete a passenger locator form

However, once the UK authorities recognise NADRA’s vaccination certificate, Pakistanis — who are fully vaccinated — will not have to self-isolate or take a pre-departure test, although they will still have to complete a two-day test and fill in a passenger locator form.

Which vaccines does the UK recognise?

  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson

Meanwhile, China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are approved by the WHO but these are not approved by the UK government.



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