Based on the advice of the CDC, the Biden administration announced the decision on Friday; The US will begin restricting travel to India from Tuesday as coronavirus growth continues across the country.
“The policy will be implemented in light of the exceptionally high COVID-19 caseloads and the many variants that roam in India,” White House press secretary Jane Saki said in a statement to reporters.
According to the newspaper’s report, one in five tests in India are testing positive, although public health officials have suggested that case numbers are much higher after labs have sunk. The infectious B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K., appears to contribute to the spread of the virus, also known as B.1.617, which was first identified in India.
According to CNN, India set another global record on Sunday with more than 372,000 new daily cases, pushing coronavirus cases worldwide past 150 million. Sunday marked the eleventh day in a row, with India reporting more than 300,000 cases per day. The country is also reporting more than 3,000 deaths per day.
Doctors and public health officials in India are rushing to take care of new patients, often with less space in hospitals and less supply of oxygen. The U.S. Air Force on Friday distributed initial shipments of oxygen cylinders, test kits, and personal safety gear, Psaki told reporters.
According to CNBC, the new travel order is not expected to ban flights, but it will prohibit non-US citizens who have traveled to India within the last 14 days. News outlets reported that some nonstop flights operate between the US and India. United Airlines is the only major US airline to operate nonstop service between the two countries with four flights per day, and Air India offers a mix of daily and weekly nonstop flights.