The US has alerted its citizens in India that access to medical care is “becoming severely limited” because of a surge in Covid-19 infections and those wishing to leave the country should take advantage of available commercial transportation options.
The alert, posted on the US embassy’s website, said there are daily direct flights to the US from India and other options via France and Germany were also available. The message was also posted on Twitter by the official handle of the US department of the state bureau of consular affairs.
The alert also said American citizens were reporting about being denied admittance to hospitals in some Indian cities because of a lack of space.
India is grappling with record-breaking Covid-19 infections, which have crossed the 300,000-mark for almost a week. It reported 379,423 cases on Wednesday.
The alert posted on the US embassy’s website said: “Access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. US citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transportation options now.”
It added, “Direct flights between India and the United States are offered daily, with additional flight options available to US citizens via transfers in Paris and Frankfurt.”
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The alert advised American citizens to enrol in “STEP at step.state.gov in order to receive critical information from the Embassy related to health and safety in India”. American citizens were also advised to track the Indian health ministry’s website for the latest information on travel restrictions.
The alert pointed out that new cases and deaths from Covid-19 have “risen sharply throughout India to record levels” and said “testing infrastructure is reportedly constrained in many locations”.
It added, “Hospitals are reporting shortages of supplies, oxygen, and beds for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 related patients. US citizens are reporting being denied admittance to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space. Some states have enacted curfews and other restrictions that limit movement and the operation of non-essential businesses.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a “Level 4 travel health notice” for India, and the US state department has issued a “Level 4 travel advisory advising against all travel to India”.
“The current Level 4 Travel Advisory is the highest level issued by the Department of State and advises US citizens not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so due to the current health situation in country,” the alert further said.