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Indian expats relieved as Covaxin gets approval

27 Oct 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Indian residents of Oman who received Covaxin vaccine against COVID-19 can now come to Oman without the requirement of institutional quarantine.

In a statement issued by the Embassy of India in Muscat on Wednesday, it announced that Oman has added Covaxin to the approved list of COVID-19 vaccines for travel to Oman.

Many Indians who received the Bharat Biotech-developed vaccine were eagerly awaiting approval of Covaxin in order to return to Oman. 

‘Embassy of India, Muscat, is pleased to inform that the Government of the Sultanate of Oman has added Covaxin to the approved list of COVID-19 vaccines for travel to Oman. The Civil Aviation Authority issued a notification on October 27 regarding this,’ the embassy stated.

‘All passengers from India who have received two doses of Covaxin at least 14 days before the arrival date will now be able to travel to Oman without the requirement of quarantine. All other COVID-19 related requirements/conditions, such as pre-arrival RT-PCR test, will be applicable for such passengers.’

According to the embassy, this development will significantly ease travel to Oman for Indian nationals vaccinated with Covaxin. Prior to the approval, passengers vaccinated with AstraZeneca/Covishield were permitted to travel to Oman without quarantine.

According to P M Jabir, community welfare secretary of Indian Social Club, every Indian resident is overjoyed with the news. “I have been receiving messages since afternoon from people expressing their joy. I had asked the outgoing Indian ambassador to use diplomatic channels to resolve the issue.”

Thanking the sultanate for the move, Jabir said, “The vaccine is an Indian made one and by approving it, Oman has upheld the friendly relationship once again.”

Covishield and Covaxin have almost the same uptake in India. In June, the Indian government stated that 1.35bn doses of vaccines will become available between August and December, including 500mn doses of Covishield and 400mn doses of Covaxin.

Expressing relief, Ruwi resident Madhusri Das said the decision has ended mental agony of parents like her. When travel restrictions were eased starting September 1, she was able to return to Oman after being stuck in India for five months, but not her college-going son. “He was vaccinated with Covaxin, so he couldn’t accompany me when I returned. It was a long and desperate wait for the approval,” she said.

The decision will also end long-running manpower issues of several companies. Baboo Joseph recently recruited a person from India who could not travel to Oman because he was vaccinated with Covaxin. “I am happy that the Indian Embassy and Indian Social Club took up the matter with the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a solution.”

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