Citing procedural delays in facilitating the update of COVID-19 vaccination records with passport numbers on the official CoWin portal, a number of expatriates’ welfare organisations have called upon the Union government to come up with a quicker action which can help the trouble-free return of many NRIs to their workplaces abroad.
The association leaders point out that the already issued 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. In such a situation, many NRIs who got the first dose furnishing their Aadhaar number will have to update their certificates with passport number to ensure international recognition, they point out.
“Though flight services are yet to be resumed to various counties amidst the COVID-19 related regulations, the updated certificate is going to be a basic requirement for any international journey in the future. What we seek is a simple software update which can help many to cross the hurdles,” says Sharafuddheen Kanneth, president of the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (Kuwait).
According to him, there are countries like Kuwait which are yet to include the name of Covishield in their records for which the India government will have to adopt the required intervention though the embassy officials. Both the issues should be addressed ahead of resuming the international flight operations, he points out.
Faisal Kannoth, president of the Dubai-based Indian Cultural and Arts Society, says the memorandums already submitted by various NRI coordination committees to the Central and State governments raising the certificate updating issue are yet to evoke any favourable response. “Like the updated certificate, the timely availability of the second dose is also a concern for many expatriates in Kerala for their return,” he adds.
The pravasi organisation leader who has already submitted the concerns before many government functionaries points out that they are now in a situation to press the people’s representatives to take up the demand with the top-level authorities concerned for action. “We have already appealed to Kozhikode MP M.K. Raghavan to discuss the issue with the Central ministers and Health Department officials,” he adds.
Responding to the issue, M.K. Raghavan, MP, said he had already sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary citing the struggle of expatriates’ community and the need to address it on time to comply with international regulations. “It would be easy to make some reasonable changes in the existing portal to enter a passport number. Those who got the vaccine in the second phase by submitting their passport number are totally free from such technical hurdles, he told The Hindu.
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