US halts all travel from India due to severe COVID-19 surge

halts all travel from India due to severe COVID-19 surge

US halts all travel from India due to severe COVID-19 surge Photo

May 4 (UPI) -- A health and security ban on most travel from India to the United States began Tuesday as the country surpassed 20 million total COVID-19 cases, according to government figures.

The United States now joins much of the world in cutting off travel to and from India. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the travel ban was implemented "in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating" in India. Advertisement

The travel ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents and their spouses and exempts some individuals, including humanitarian workers and students.

Travelers from India are not allowed U.S. entry if they have been in India for 14 days or longer. RELATED Indias daily cases surge to 50% of world total with 800,000 over two days

Even with an exemption, travelers still must meet requirements for international travel set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC requires that all travelers entering the United States have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result at least three days before arrival. The requirement also applies to travelers who have received a coronavirus vaccine.

President Joe Biden told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week that the United States would send oxygen supplies and vaccine materials. India has had difficulty in procuring oxygen at many of its hospitals. RELATED India reports COVID-19 records again: 349,691 daily cases, 2,767 deaths

The White House said the United States will deliver more than $100 million in supplies. including personal protective equipment, oxygen, coronavirus test kits and masks.

India on Tuesday surpassed 20 million total coronavirus cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago, and has seen its most severe wave of the disease over the past several weeks. Last weekend, it became the first country in the world to record 400,000 new cases in a single day.

The only other country to see 20 million cases is the United States, which surpassed the mark in late December, according to Johns Hopkins University. India is the second-most populous nation in the world with 1.4 billion people. RELATED Ex-FDA commissioner: U.S. must be clear on purpose of COVID-19 travel restrictions

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