Britan’s Research on AstraZeneca: After European countries temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Britain has admitted to “plausible” risks arising from the vaccine. Its trusted Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) found there had been 79 cases of blood clots in the UK following vaccination, among whom 19 died. This was among a total of 20 million who had been given the vaccine. That suggests that four in a million could develop a clot, and one in a million could die of it. A minuscule risk, but a risk nevertheless, that affects younger people more. If India is approaching a couple of million vaccinations a day, that could mean a death a day from taking this vaccine. But there is further study underway into the “evolving evidence” over the rare side effects of this vaccine, says MHRA CEO Dr June Reine. UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the risk is no more than the risk of developing a blood clot during a long-haul flight.
Britain’s Summer Travel Plans in Jeopardy: Now another holiday season to India has been lost, no one from Britain thinks of travelling to India in the summer. The traffic usually begins to flow the other way, towards May. But travel restrictions amidst spiking cases could well mean that a growing number of Indians who travel to Europe over the summer could be looking at a fully Indian summer this year. In India that is not a pressing national issue: in Britain it is. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has had to tell Britons that they should think carefully before planning their holidays, though he said “I understand how impatient people are to book their holidays.”
Ease of Lockdown in Britain: The easing of a lockdown in Britain from next week is likely to bring a rise in Covid-19 cases, though it is hoped that the mass vaccination will stop the rise well short of a spike. How effective the vaccination proves in limiting the rise, and in limiting the seriousness of cases, will be the deciding factor for travel between Britain and India, and in fact other countries. That vaccination will prove effective is likely – everyone is looking at the Israel model. Israel has inoculated its entire population. But one reason for the present control in Israel is effective restrictions on travel to the country. That model may not be easy to replicate around the world. Israel has a population of nine million, Britain 67 million and India 1.3 billion.
India-Origin Steel Boss’s Firm Faces Challenges: Britain-based steel boss Sanjeev Gupta, whose firm Liberty is in crisis after his financier withdrew, now faces challenges down under in Australia following an application to wind up two companies including OneSteel Manufacturing owned by Liberty. Citibank filed the application on behalf of Credit Suisse. Gupta’s GFG Alliance insists that its Australian operations are running profitably and that it will strongly defend any legal action launched against the group.
English Driver wins ‘Racial Discrimination’ Case Against Sikh Employer: An English driver working in a Punjabi firm in Britain has won a case of racial discrimination over comments from his boss that he was “lazy”. The driver said his Sikh boss had commented that the firm should not employ English drivers because they are lazy and only interested in claiming benefits. He was awarded close to 1,000 pounds for breach of employment law, and another 2,500 pounds for hurt feelings.
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