President Joe Biden announced that the US will impose a travel restriction on India. On the advice of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travelers from India will not be able to enter the US. However, American citizens and permanent residents are exempted from this policy.
However, American citizens and permanent residents entering the US still need to follow safety protocols. They need to test negative before traveling. Those who haven’t received their vaccine will still have to take another test once they entered the US.
According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India”.
The US isn’t alone in its travel restriction on India. The United Kingdom and Canada along with other countries already restricted travel from India to their countries.
Sending Help to India
India already recorded more than 18 million cases and 200,000 COVID19 related deaths. Unfortunately, experts believe that the actual number of cases and deaths is higher. The recent surge led to hospitals struggling to meet patient needs. Among issues faced by India’s healthcare facilities include a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen.
India is one of the world’s largest vaccine producers in the world. But still, the country struggled to procure enough vaccines for its 1.4 billion population. Also, this situation could prolong the pandemic and cause mutations in the virus making it more infectious and potentially lessen the efficacy of existing vaccines.
Biden spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. According to the US, they are sending supplies from oxygen equipment to materials that can aid in vaccine production. Paski mentioned that two US military flights already arrived in India. She hoped that these supplies can “provide some level of relief”.
The US recently included India along with 80% of the world’s countries in its Level 4 travel advisory. On top of that, the US government told its citizens to leave India. With concerns regarding the availability of health facilities, the US encouraged citizens to take go home via Frankfurt and Paris.
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