GBP/INR continues to retreat in early trading on Monday, after losing 0.67% on Friday. At the time of writing, one British pound buys 99.114 Indian rupees, down 0.20% as of 9:40 AM UTC. The pair has been trading inside a horizontal channel since mid-December. Now it’s getting closer to the channel’s support line near 98.900.
The pound continues to be under pressure even after the UK government reported a smaller-than-expected GDP decline in November. The lockdown in England and other regions is still ongoing as Britain has been struggling with a resurgence of the pandemic potentially triggered by the new COVID strain.
Britain’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said on Friday that the new COVID variants could theoretically resist the current vaccines. Still, the vaccines themselves might be adapted to the new mutations. He said:
“It’s possible that the variants will get round vaccines to some extent in the future. But I think the vaccines themselves … particularly the messenger RNA vaccines are really quite easy to adjust to changes in the virus.”
UK Ramps Up COVID Vaccine Programme
Meanwhile, the UK is ramping up the vaccination programme starting from today. The shots will be also administered to people aged 70 and above and those who are extremely vulnerable to the COVID virus. Up until today, the vaccination campaign focused on people aged 80 and older and health and care staff.
Health minister Matt Hancock revealed that over 50% of all Britons aged over 80 had been vaccinated.
At a later stage, key workers in the UK, such as the police, teachers, and shopworkers might come next in the list to get the shots once all those over 50 are vaccinated, as per vaccine deployment minister, Nadhim Zahawi. He stated that the UK was vaccinating about 140 people per minute.
Yesterday, British foreign minister Dominic Raab said that the government hoped to ease some restriction measures in March, as it continues with Europe’s fastest vaccine rollout. The national lockdown has been around since January 5. Most of the schools are closed, non-essential businesses are not serving clients, and people are required to work from home if possible. Raab told media:
“What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown as soon as possible.”