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KARACHI: Business community has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to take up issue with the ministries of Canada United States, United Kingdom and other European countries for allowing the Covid-19 vaccine used in Pakistan.

They said that different countries refused to issue visa to Pakistan national who were vaccinated with the Chinese-made vaccines “Sinopharm” and “Sinovac”. General public as well as business community are facing difficulties in visiting differed countries, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as they are not issuing visas.

Former president Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Haji Irfan Yousuf said that he has been administered the Covid-19 vaccine on May 3, 2021, and the second dose on May 31, 2021.

“I was not aware of the Canadian immigration policy that the (Sinovac) Covid-19 vaccine is not acceptable for visits to Canada and for Canadian immigration. The Canadian authorities are only recognizing AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer,’ he said.

Haji Irfan Yousaf said that the question is whether those who have already taken both doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccine (Sinovac or Sinopharm) should get the certificate or to have dosage of another vaccine approved by these countries.

Another businessman, Abdullah Zaki, said it was a fact that Pakistani exporters were facing problems with trips abroad after being vaccinated with “Sinopharm” and “Sinovac” vaccines and that the federal government had taken immediate action to address the issue.

He was of the view that if we do not talk to the United States, Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries, then Pakistan’s exports will be hurt adversely.

He said that the government should pay attention to this problem on priority basis and talk to the governments of these countries that the Chinese vaccines are approved by the World Health Organization, and that the travelers who have taken “Sinopharm” and “Sinovac” should not be barred from entering these countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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