US asks Americans to leave India amid Covid surge

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport -Terminal 2; image via http://www.csia.in

Direct India-US flights offered daily; transfers via Paris, Frankfurt, and Doha also available.

With India reeling under a deadly second corona wave, the US is advising American citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so in the current situation.

Issuing its highest level 4 health advisory, the US State Department noted new cases and deaths from Covid-19 have risen sharply throughout India to record levels over the last month.

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.

US citizens are reporting being denied admission to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space, it said.  Some states have enacted curfews and other restrictions that limit movement and the operation of non-essential businesses, the advisory noted.

READ: $100 million worth US Covid relief aid starts arriving in India (April 29, 2021)

The State Department Wednesday authorized the voluntary departure of family members of US government employees in Mission India after a couple of staffers reported positive.

US citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of commercial transportation options, the US embassy in New Delhi advised.

Direct flights between India and the United States are offered daily, with additional flight options available to US citizens via transfers in Paris, Frankfurt, and Doha.

US Embassy in New Delhi and its Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai will remain open and continue to provide emergency consular services, it said.

The embassy also urged US citizens to enroll in STEP at step.state.gov in order to receive critical information from the Embassy related to health and safety in India.

READ: Indian Americans concerned about travel to Covid hit India (April 26, 2021)

It also suggested visiting the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website for the latest information on travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that the US has not yet decided to ban travel to India like the UK and Canada.

“We would make those determinations based on the advice of our health and medical team.  They haven’t made that determination at this point,” she said.

In the past week, about 20 countries have either suspended passenger flights from India for varying periods or imposed strict entry norms for travelers from the country.

READ: United States offers to make vaccine ingredients available to India immediately (April 25, 2021)

These include Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Maldives, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE and UK.

READ MORE:

US pledges steadfast, ongoing support for Covid hit India (April 27, 2021)

Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella rushing aid to covid-hit India (April 26, 2021)

How pressure mounted on Biden administration to help India during coronavirus surge (April 25, 2021)

Indian Americans concerned about travel to Covid hit India (April 26, 2021)

Vinod Khosla offers to help Indian hospitals with import of oxygen (April 24, 2021)

Covid tsunami hits India with record 332,000 daily cases (April 23, 2021)

Don’t let the ‘America First’ derail India-U.S. ties (April 24, 202)

US may curb Air India evacuation flights from July 22 (June 23, 2020)

Air India announces more US-India flights from June 11 (June 8, 2020)

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