Apr 29, 2021 - Health

State Department urges U.S. citizens to leave India as COVID crisis worsens

A Covid-19 coronavirus patient is shifted to ward after admission at GTB hospital in New Delhi on April 29
A COVID-19 coronavirus patient is shifted to ward after admission at GTB hospital in New Delhi on April 29. Photo: PRAKASH SINGH /Getty Images

The State Department has advised U.S. citizens to leave India as soon as possible, and avoid traveling there, as coronavirus cases surge in the country amid a widespread oxygen shortage and slow vaccine rollout.

The big picture: The advisory comes as India logs daily records in new COVID cases, with hospitals and morgues overwhelmed.

  • India reported 379,257 new COVID-19 infections and 3,645 new deaths on Thursday, its highest number of fatalities in a single day to date.
  • The country's total number of cases now sits at over 18.3 million, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Details: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice, while the State Department issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory — the highest level — advising Americans against all travel to India. 

  • "Access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases," according to the government warning.
  • "U.S. citizens are reporting being denied admittance to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space," per the statement.
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