Vaccine Export Plan on Pins and Needles: The conflict between the Indian government and the Serum Institute of India (SII) continues. The government has again refused permission to the SII to send five million doses of Covishield to the UK as contracted, and, in fact, as packed. The packaging of these vaccines is marked for UK use, but these vaccines are now being repackaged and redirected for use in India. National need is in clash with contractual credibility.
Counties Keen to Host Remainder of IPL: Now that the BCCI has said that the remaining IPL games for the season cannot be played in India, the future of the remaining fraction of the tournament is in serious doubt. A number of English counties are keen to host the remaining 31 matches of IPL later this year. Every club and county sees the IPL as a major money-spinner. But England players may not be able to take part in a resumed IPL if that clashes with the commitments England players have made to the ECB and for other counties and fixtures, the board has indicated.
Indian Cricketers Asked to Get Covishield Jabs: In a late communication, Indian cricketers are being asked to take only Covishield, so that a second dose may be available in England if required. Covaxin is not available in the UK, and it has not been given approval for use here yet. The ECB is making inquiries about the vaccination status of individual players. Players are currently at home, and the vaccination programme has worked differently at different places. But any player who may have had one dose of Covaxin and is travelling before the second could face difficulties. The Indian team is due to enter a bio-bubble on May 25 and travel to England on June 2 for the Test world title contest.
‘Bolton’ from the Blue: The town of Bolton in north England has emerged as the hotspot for the Indian variant of the coronavirus, according to new data. Bolton has a significant Indian population, as of course does London. In both London and Bolton more than half the cases detected have been linked to travel from India. Some of the travellers are reported to have arrived in the days before India was red-listed, and then infected others. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been facing strong media criticism over what many have called a late decision to red-list travel from India. But while cases have been rising, officials say they are not surging.
Blind Businesswoman Walks to Raise Money for Indian Orphanage: A blind British businesswoman is walking five kilometres a day for five days to raise money for an orphanage in India that has been hit by Covid. Liz Jackson from Baughurst, a village in Hampshire, has already raised 5,000 pounds. “Not only will this be a mental challenge, but my white cane with a ball on the end is actually fairly heavy,” she says. “So, gripping and holding it with an outstretched arm, 25k over five days won’t be as easy as it sounds.” The money is being raised for St Mark’s School in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.