White House Bans Travel from India
The White House has imposed new travel restrictions on India in light of the COVID-19 epidemic, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States. The restrictions come as the world’s second-most populous country struggles with the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreak.
The restrictions are already in effect as of Tuesday, May 4. On the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the restrictions were imposed because of the “surging COVID-19 pandemic,” the White House said.
The proclamation said India “accounts for over one-third of new global cases” and added that “proactive measures are required to protect the nation’s public health from travelers entering the United States” from India.
The World Health Organization has reported that the Republic of India has had more than 21,100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. India accounts for over one-third of new global cases, and the number of new cases is accelerating at a rapid rate. There have been more than 300,000 average new daily cases over the past week. Total deaths have surpassed 230,000, but experts caution the actual number is likely much higher.
A variant strain of the virus, known as B.1.617, is also circulating in India, along with other variant strains, including B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, and B.1.351, first detected in the Republic of South Africa. The CDC advises, based on work by public health and scientific experts, that these variants have characteristics of concern, which may make them more easily transmitted and have the potential for reduced protection afforded by some vaccines.