Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases, US Medical Body CDC Urges People to Avoid All Travel to India

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Washington: As India witnesses an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday urged residents of the USA to avoid all travel to India as it may heighten the risk for contacting and spreading the virus variants, reported news agency ANI. The medical body further said that if anyone is bound to travel to India, they must first get fully vaccinated. It said, “Amid a surge in COVID cases (in India), travellers should avoid all travel to India. Even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading variants and should avoid all travel to India. If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel.” Also Read – FACT CHECK: Do Onions With Salt Cure Covid-19? Here’s The Truth

As per a Reuters report, the US State Department has announced that it will boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80% of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travelers” from the COVID-19 pandemic. Issuing a statement, the department said, “This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide.” Also Read – Corona 2nd Wave: 146 Districts Have 15 Per Cent COVID Positivity Rate

The state Department has already listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” including places like Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania. Getting to 80% would imply adding nearly 130 countries. Most Americans were already prevented from traveling to much of Europe because of COVID-19 restrictions. Washington has barred nearly all non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in most of Europe, China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa. Also Read – Over 35 Inmates Including Indrani Mukerjea Test Positive for COVID-19 at Mumbai’s Byculla Jail

The State Department has further clarified that its move does not imply a reassessment of current health situations in some countries, but it “reflects an adjustment in the State Department’s Travel Advisory system to rely more on (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) existing epidemiological assessments.”

The US medical body appeal to avoid travel to India came just hours after the UK added India to its COVID-19 travel “red list”, which effectively bans all travel from the country and also made a 10-day hotel quarantine compulsory for UK residents arriving back to the country. Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the move in the House of Commons as he revealed that 103 cases of the so-called Indian variant had been identified in the UK, of which the “vast majority have links to international travel”.

Earlier, even Hong Kong has suspended all flights connecting with India for 14 days starting Tuesday amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region. The authorities have also suspended flights from Pakistan and the Philippines.

India has recently seen an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases as many of its states and cities including national capital Delhi and Mumbai has imposed lockdown like restrictions. The country on Monday witnessed a highest single-day spike of coronavirus cases with over 2.73 lakh fresh infections and 1,619 deaths in the last 24 hours.

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