The United States has imposed restrictions on travel from India starting on May 4 because of the extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the country, the White House said.
India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.
“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
“The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India. The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4,” Psaki said in a statement.
On April 26, US President Joe Biden expressed solidarity with India in its fight against COVID-19 and asserted that his country was determined to support its efforts by quickly deploying resources like therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccine.
Biden expressed the support of the US to India in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Friday, two American military aircraft brought to India large amounts of emergency medical supplies as part of the Biden administration’s support to the country’s fight against a devastating wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first consignment of the supplies was brought to Delhi in a C-5M Super Galaxy, one of the largest strategic airlift aircraft of the US Air Force, while the second shipment was delivered by a C-17 Globemaster.
The medical supplies included 423 oxygen cylinders with regulators, 210 pulse oximeters, 17 large oxygen cylinders, 8,84,000 Abbott rapid diagnostic test kits and 84,000 N-95 face masks, officials said.
A number of countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have banned travel to and from India due to a surge in coronavirus infections.
On April 29, the US advised its citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so and authorised the voluntary departure of family members of its employees in the Indian missions, saying the access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in the country amid a massive surge in COVID-19 cases.
The US has put India on Level 4 Travel Advisory, the highest level issued by the Department of State.
The current Level 4 Travel Advisory asks US citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so due to the current health situation in the country.
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