Plea in HC for priority in vaccination to NRIs, students going abroad

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New Delhi, May 30 (PTI) A plea to give priority in Covid vaccination to NRIs and students who have to go for studies abroad has been moved in the Delhi High Court and is likely to be heard on Monday.

The petition, which also seeks inclusion of passport numbers in the vaccination certificates of those intending to travel abroad, is listed before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The PIL by NGO Pravasi Legal Cell claims that NRIs who came to India during the COVID-19 outbreak globally have to now return to their respective countries where they reside or work in view of decline in infections in many countries and resumption of international flights.

However, foreign nations only allow entry to those persons who are vaccinated and if preference is not given to such individuals, it would badly affect them, the petition filed through advocates M P Srivignesh, Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph said.

It also said that the US and European countries are only permitting entry to those students who have been vaccinated and therefore, it was important to give priority to such persons as the academic year in the US, the UK and other European nations commences from August-September.

It further said that most foreign countries accept the vaccination certificate only when they have the passport number on it.

'So, a vaccination certificate carrying the Aadhaar number in place of the passport number cannot be produced as a valid document with the latest rules in many countries,' it added.

It also claimed that people who have received both doses of Covaxin are also not allowed to travel internationally as the vaccine, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, has not been included in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) yet.

'So, it is humbly submitted that the respondent (Centre) must take appropriate steps in this regard so no difficulty is faced by the people travelling abroad even after being fully vaccinated by doses of Covaxin,' it said. PTI HMP KJ

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