US State Department Tells American to Leave India Amid Worsening Pandemic

The U.S. told its citizens to leave India as soon as possible due to the country’s worsening COVID-19 crisis.

In a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest travel advisory issued by the State Department — U.S. citizens were cautioned “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.” According to the department, there are 14 direct daily flights between India and the U.S. and other flights that connect through Europe.

Indian authorities and hospitals are struggling to combat record-breaking rates of COVID-19 infections. Official data released Thursday showed new cases in India rose by 379,257 over 24 hours while 3,645 lives were lost. More than 204,800 people have died.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India released a health alert, saying, “U.S. citizens are reporting being denied admittance to hospitals in some cities due to lack of space. U.S. citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transport options now.”

All routine U.S. citizen services and visa services at the U.S. Consulate General Chennai have been canceled.

Anyone returning to the U.S. from overseas must have a viral COVID-19 test between three and five days after travel, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals who haven’t been vaccinated are also being advised to stay at home and self-quarantine for a week.

India now has the world’s fastest-growing rate of cases with 18.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

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