US issues India travel advisory as COVID-19 crisis deepens

The U.S. told American citizens in India to leave the country immediately, as the COVID-19 crisis in the country deepens.

The State Department issued a Level 4 travel advisory Wednesday after the department approved the voluntary departure of family members of government employees. A Level 4 advisory warns U.S. citizens “do not travel” to the country in question, usually due to “life-threatening risks.”

The advisory indicates a “very high level” of COVID-19 in the country, and the government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in “rural areas,” the department said. 

“U.S. citizens are reportedly being denied admittance to hospitals due to the lack of space and resources,” an alert on the State Department website read.

People wait in queues outside the office of the Chemists Association to demand the necessary supply of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, in Pune, India. As India faces a devastating surge of new coronavirus infections overwhelming the health care system, people are turning to desperate measures to keep loved ones alive. (AP Photo, File)

People wait in queues outside the office of the Chemists Association to demand the necessary supply of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, in Pune, India. As India faces a devastating surge of new coronavirus infections overwhelming the health care system, people are turning to desperate measures to keep loved ones alive. (AP Photo, File)

The advisory also specifically warns against travel to the states of Jammu and Kashmir due to “terrorism and civil unrest.”

Citizens looking to leave should take advantage of one of 14 direct daily flights between India and the U.S., according to Bloomberg.

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India has recently seen a steep rise in COVD-19 cases, recording more than 300,000 new daily cases for almost a week straight, with reports that the death count has been underreported.

New data from the Indian government reported 3,293 deaths on Wednesday, marking the first time the nation surpassed 3,000 deaths in one day, according to Forbes — this more than one year into the pandemic and as some other countries, including the U.S., have successfully gotten their vaccination programs off the ground.

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However, the number of deaths in India may be far higher, with locals telling Sky News: “The Delhi government says that 380 peoples are dying every day from coronavirus but it’s actually around 1,000… more than 1,000.”

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The U.S. announced Wednesday that it would send $100 million in coronavirus supplies to India to provide urgent relief.

The emergency supplies will include oxygen materials, personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccine manufacturing supplies, rapid testing kits and therapeutics.

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The U.S. also pledged public health assistance and said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts will “work hand-in-hand with India’s experts in the following areas: laboratory, surveillance and epidemiology, bioinformatics for genomic sequencing and modeling, infection prevention and control, vaccine rollout, and risk communication.”

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report. 

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