India’s second wave of COVID-19 has been taking a devastating toll on the country. It was reported that yesterday, that for the first time ever, India’s daily reached 400,000 people. Many countries across the world have joined together to provide aid to India, with the U.S. finally deciding to join in as well. On Friday, the Biden Administration announced that the U.S. will restrict travel from India amid the skyrocketing cases.
“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s office said in a statement. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India. The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4.”
However, the restrictions will not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents or other people with exemptions. People traveling from India must still test negative prior to leaving the country, and quarantine if they have not been vaccinated, and test negative again upon reentering the US from India.
CNN reported that Friday’s marked the ninth day in a row that India added 300,000 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 18.7 million. The country also reported 3,498 deaths, bringing the death toll to 208,330.
Kamala Harris also spoke on the upcoming travel restrictions, telling CNN that “It is important to note, as I said earlier, that we have a responsibility as the United States in particular, as it relates to the people that we have partnered with over the years, to step up when people are in a time of need. And as it relates to the people of India, we have long standing decades old relationship with India, with the Indian people, in particular around public health issues.”