Two United States government agencies have issued their most serious travel advisories for India, both urging Americans to not travel to India as coronavirus cases surge to record levels in the country.
The deadly wave of COVID-19 cases has pushed India — the world’s second most populous country after China — past 200,000 total coronavirus deaths, Deseret News reported, although that number could be higher amid accusations of underreporting.
India travel advisories
- “The Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of family members of U.S. government employees in Mission India,” the department said in a statement Wednesday.
- “U.S. citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transportation options,” the State Department advises in its warning.
- “Do not travel” is the same level of warning the State Department gives to Iraq and Afghanistan — two countries with active armed conflicts.
- “Because of the current situation in India, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India,” CDC’s warning states.
- “If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds and wash their hands,” the CDC adds.
United States sending help to India
Ahead of India’s current surge of deadly coronavirus cases, the country had been on its way to begin relaxing pandemic safety protocols, according to the Deseret News. The World Health Organization has said India’s COVID-19 outbreak is partially caused by multiple coronavirus variants.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday the “the United States is delivering supplies worth more than $100 million in the coming days to provide urgent relief to our partners in India.”
- “State governments, private companies, non-government organizations and thousands of Americans … have mobilized to deliver vital oxygen, related equipment and essential supplies” to India’s health care workers, Price said in video posted to Twitter.
Right now, a @usairforce C-5M Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III are en route to India from @Travis60AMW. They’re carrying oxygen cylinders/regulators, rapid diagnostic kits, N95 masks, and pulse oximeters. Thanks to @USAID for the supplies & to all involved in the effort. pic.twitter.com/awtUFrT30D
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) April 29, 2021
“Right now, a United States Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy and a C-17 Globemaster III are en route to India from (California’s) Travis Air Force Base,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Twitter Thursday morning.