The United States has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice and asked its citizens to leave India “as soon as it is safe to do so” in view of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic as it has restricted access to medical care. The highest level of advisory came in the backdrop of the announcement of oxygen-related support and medical assistance from the Joe Biden administration 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 U.S. Department of State.
The advisory said access to medical care had become “severely limited in India due to the surge in COVID-19 cases” and urged U.S. citizens to opt for direct flights between India and the U.S. that were currently operating daily.
“US citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transportation options now,” the US state department tweeted. “Daily direct flights to the US and flights via Paris and Frankfurt are available.”
#India: Access to medical care is severely limited due to COVID-19 cases. U.S. citizens wishing to depart should use available commercial options now. Daily direct flights to the US and flights via Paris and Frankfurt are available. https://t.co/p5a3v5ws9y pic.twitter.com/LqHhCiZVEg
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) April 28, 2021
It urged “US citizens to enroll in STEP at step.state-.gov in order to receive critical information related to health and safety in India”.
In the past week, about 20 countries have either suspended passenger flights from India for varying periods of time or imposed strict entry norms for travellers from here.
Some countries are not allowing entry to travellers who have been in India for the previous 14 days. These include Canada, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Iran, UAE, Kuwait,Saudi Arabia,Oman, Bangladesh, Maldives, Hong Kong,
Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. People can travel from India to some of these places only if they have spent more than 14 days in a third country and have a negative Covid test report from that place.