COVID load on hospitals prompts US to ask its citizens to leave India

The US Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory – the most alarming – asking US citizens to "not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so"

Medical supplies being prepared in the US for air transport to India. Pic: Twitter

The deteriorating COVID situation in the country has compelled the US government to ask its citizens to leave India at the earliest.

The US Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory – the most alarming – asking US citizens to “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The Level 4 advisory was prompted by a report submitted by the US Embassy in New Delhi to the US State Department which says that some US citizens were being denied medical care. “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 admittance to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space. Some states have enacted curfews and other restrictions that limit movement and the operation of non-essential businesses,” the US Embassy in New Delhi reported.

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In response, the US state department tweeted: “#India: Access to medical care is severely limited due to COVID-19 cases. US citizens wishing to depart should use available commercial options now. Daily direct flights to the US and flights via Paris and Frankfurt are available.”

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The US Embassy also issued a health alert: “Access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. We urge US citizens to enrol in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Programme) at step.state.gov in order to receive critical information from the Embassy related to health and safety in India.”

Australia earlier this week banned all flights from India while the UK has barred any visitor who’s been in India in the previous 10 days from entering.

A record single-day rise of 3,79,257 COVID-19 infections, 3,645 fatalities on Thursday (April 29) pushed India’s tally of cases to 1,83,76,524 and death toll to 2,04,832. India has the world’s fastest-growing caseload.

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