Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), on Thursday announced that he had created a Rs 10-crore fund to extend financial support to students travelling abroad for education. As SII’s Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, was not yet accepted in these countries students have to incur substantial quarantine costs.
Some countries have not approved the Covishield vaccine as an accepted vaccine for travel without quarantine so Indian students going to these countries for higher studies have to incur additional expenses on testing and institutional quarantine.
Poonawalla tweeted that he would set aside Rs 10 crore and students could apply for financial support if they needed it. This was a personal contribution from him. Poonawalla had in June acknowledged that a lot of Indians who had taken the Covishield were facing issues with travel to the European Union and has promised to take it up at the highest levels and resolve the matter with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries.
Till date sixteen European countries have recognised Covishield made in India as an acceptable vaccine for entry. However, 15 countries have not yet accepted Covishield and have different entry guidelines.
After putting India on the red list for travel restrictions, the UK government has announced that from Sunday (August 8), 4 am, India would move to the Amber list with easier testing and quarantine rules.
Indian students have to face travel restrictions, if they have not been fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised by the European Medicines Agency for Europe, Swissmedic for Switzerland and the Food and Drug Administration for the US.