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US to restrict travel from India over COVID-19 starting Tuesday

Jen Psaki
Posted at 2:41 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 15:16:47-04

The White House says the United States will restrict travel from India starting on May 4.

The Biden administration cited the devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the South Asian country and the emergency of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.

Press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the administration made the determination on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The U.S. action comes days after Biden spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the growing health crisis in his country and pledged to send assistance.

India now has reported more than 18.7 million since the pandemic began, second only to the U.S. The country set another global record Friday, with 386,452 daily coronavirus cases. The Health Ministry also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330.

Experts believe both of those figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.

India’s pandemic response has been marred by insufficient data.

An online appeal — signed by over 350 scientists Friday afternoon — asks the government to release data about the sequencing of virus variants, testing, recovered patients and how people were responding to vaccines.

The appeal says the “granular” data on testing was inaccessible to non-government experts and some government experts too.

India has set a daily global record for more than a week with an average of nearly 350,000 infections. Daily deaths have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, reflecting the intensity of the latest surge.