US to cut travel from India due to Covid surge

The United States will limit inbound travel from India, a move announced by the White House on Friday as the Indian government counted another world record for daily coronavirus cases with more than 400,000.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement that the restrictions would begin on Tuesday. Although Psaki did not specify what limitations would be imposed, they should resemble other international travel restrictions, which prohibit non-U.S. Citizens from entering the United States if they have stayed in an affected country in the past. Last 14 days.

The Biden administration’s announcement came the same day India reported more than 300,000 new cases of Covid-19 for the ninth consecutive day. Official data shows that around 3,000 people die from the disease each day, although most experts believe the actual number is much higher.

In his statement, Psaki said the White House had taken action following advice from the Centers for Disease Control, citing “the extraordinarily high number of Covid-19 cases and the multiple variants circulating in India.” Kamala Harris, the U.S. vice president whose mother immigrated to the United States from India, said national security advisers also recommended the move.

The US has already banned non-citizens from entering if they have been in multiple foreign countries in the previous 14 days, including UK, much of Europe, China, Iran and in Brazil.

Other countries have already restricted travel from India in an attempt to prevent the spread of the B.1.617 variant, which is believed to be behind much of the outbreak in India.

Great Britain ad last week only British and Irish citizens could enter from India and travelers would be required to self-isolate in a government-approved hotel for 10 days. Germany and Italy have adopted similar measures.

The restrictions come days after the United States announced a package support to help India fight the pandemic, including oxygen and materials to make vaccines.

“We have a responsibility as the United States, especially with the people we have partnered with over the years, to step up when people are in need,” Harris said Friday. “We have a long, decades-old relationship with India, with the Indian people, particularly in matters of public health.”

The White House also announced this week that it will export 60m of doses the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been approved for use in the United States, in other countries. Although the administration has yet to confirm which countries will receive the doses, Joe Biden, US President, said he expects India to be one of them.

Additional reporting by Amy Kazmin in New Delhi

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