Biden to restrict travel from India amid coronavirus surge

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will restrict travel from India beginning Tuesday on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as India battles a lethal second wave of coronavirus infections.

The coverage won’t apply to American residents, lawful everlasting residents or different exempted people, in accordance to a White House official. People in these classes will nonetheless have to check destructive prior to travel, quarantine if unvaccinated and retest as destructive upon coming into the U.S., as is required for all worldwide vacationers.

“The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated in an announcement.

The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, amongst different nations, have imposed similar travel restrictions on India in current days.

The new travel restrictions underscore the challenges of tackling the coronavirus pandemic on a global scale, whilst progress has been made within the United States.

India surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 deaths this week, changing into solely the fourth nation to achieve this, with some specialists warning that the death toll is probably going higher than reported. Overall, India has recorded about 18 million circumstances, second solely to the United States with greater than 32 million cases.

The surge in new infections has stretched India’s hospitals to the breaking level, main to a scarcity in oxygen, hospital beds and different important provides.

Vice President Kamala Harris touched upon the restrictions in feedback to reporters Friday afternoon.

“As it relates to the people of India, we have a longstanding, decades old relationship with India, particularly when it comes to public health issues,” Harris stated, including that she had not spoken to her prolonged household in India because the restrictions have been introduced.

Although India is among the world’s largest vaccine producers, the nation has struggled to procure sufficient to inoculate its inhabitants of practically 1.4 billion folks. Experts have warned that whereas the U.S. and different rich nations race forward of their vaccination rollouts, global vaccine inequality might lengthen the pandemic for everybody as virus variants mutate and could possibly be extra infectious and evade Western vaccines.

Biden spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, and administration officers stated they’re sending a range of supplies to the nation, together with oxygen tools, uncooked supplies utilized in vaccine manufacturing, speedy testing kits, and the therapy Remdesivir.

Psaki stated that two U.S. army flights arrived in India Friday carrying oxygen cylinders, speedy diagnostic checks, N95 masks, and different provides. Harris informed reporters that she hoped the provides would “provide some level of relief.”

In January, Biden reinstated comparable travel restrictions on most non-U.S. vacationers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 different European nations that enable travel throughout open borders and likewise issued new restrictions on travel from South Africa.

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