Several countries have barred people from going to or from India. Australia earlier this week banned all flights from India. The UK has barred any visitor who has been in India in the previous 10 days. Italy, Germany, Singapore, France, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong have all restricted flights to and from India.
The United States has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice, the highest of its kind issued by the State Department, asking its citizens to leave India “as soon as it is safe to do so” in light of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic, as it has restricted access to medical care.
The advisory came against the backdrop of the announcement of oxygen related support and medical assistance being provided by the US to India.
“New cases and deaths from Covid-19 have risen sharply throughout India to record levels. Covid-19 testing infrastructure is reportedly constrained in many locations. Hospitals are reporting shortages of supplies, oxygen, and beds for both Covid-19 and non-Covid 19 related patients,” announced a “Health Alert” from the US Department of State.
The advisory states that access to medical care has become “severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid -19 cases”.
US citizens have been asked to opt for direct flights between India and the US that are currently operating on a daily basis. A total of 14 such direct flights are on between the US and India at present.
India on Friday morning registered another record single day spike in cases, with 386,452 Covid-19 positive reported, along with highest number of deaths in one day — 3,498.
US Citizens Being Denied Admittance
“US citizens are reporting being denied admittance to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space,” the website of the US Embassy and the Consulates in India said in a health alert.
“US citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transportation options now.” All routine US citizen services and visa services at the US Consulate General, Chennai, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, have been cancelled.
The Level 4 Travel Advisory has asked US citizens “not to travel to India” because of the pandemic.
Indian Lawmaker Subramanian Swamy has expressed surprise over the US decision.