Ahmedabad: Rajesh Ashara, a resident of Ankleshwar, has had to postpone his plans three times for Toronto, Canada to pursue a master’s degree in environmental engineering due to air travel restrictions imposed amid the Covid pandemic 19.
He managed to book his ticket for this weekend by taking a longer route. His troubles do not seem to end there, however. The reason is that he was vaccinated with Covaxin, the anti-Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech which has not yet obtained approval from the World Health Organization (WHO).
As a result, most countries, including Canada, treat those given with Covaxin as ‘unvaccinated’.
âI have booked hotels in Canada where I will stay 14 days as part of my quarantine period. For those who have taken two doses of WHO-approved vaccines, the quarantine rules do not apply, âAshara said.
He’s more worried about following another rule that might require receiving another vaccine, approved in this country.
âI don’t want to risk my health by taking yet another dose of vaccine and that too from a different brand. I’m not sure about the health risks associated with such a decision, âAshara said.
Ankit Mistry, an Ahmedabad-based visa consultant, says he has received 40 to 50 inquiries daily about students planning to go abroad and their concerns about vaccination.
âI am inundated with all kinds of questions about which vaccines to take and which to avoid. We are also asked if a âmix and matchâ of vaccines can be taken. We tell them to consult doctors and medical experts. The majority of these requests come from students planning to go to Canada, âMistry said.
The cost of quarantine in Canada can vary from Rs 60,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh depending on the hotel and city.
Previously, there were three air connections apart from direct flights. They included via Muscat and Ethiopia and another via Russia and Siberia to reach Canada. Currently, students prefer to travel to Canada via Frankfurt and Mexico as the other two routes are closed at the moment.
Dhruvi Patel is crossing his fingers for the reopening of direct flights between Ahmedabad and Toronto. She obtained her student visa to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology as a major subject at a university in Canada. Patel has taken two doses of Covaxin and hopes the confusion over vaccination will end by the time she takes a flight to Canada.