Washington, DC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised Americans to avoid all travel to India. In a statement, the CDC on Monday said: “Because of the current situation in India even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to India. If you must travel to India, get fully vaccinated before travel. All travelers should wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid crowds, and wash their hands.”
Besides, the United States is “very closely” tracking the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has said.
The statement from Price comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday and discussed US-India cooperation on climate change, COVID-19, and other global challenges and pledged to remain in close contact on these and other issues of mutual concern.
“There are protocols in place, requiring testing for international travel. What is true is that we are tracking the course of the COVID outbreak in India very closely as I mentioned before, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Jaishankar did discuss it yesterday,” Price said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are committed to doing what we can both at the present. And going forward, to see to it that this virus is brought under control and I spoke again of our engagement with those who are funding COVAX, the Quad arrangement that of course implicates. What we’re seeing in India,” he added.
Price further said that Secretary Blinken consistently makes the point that as long as the virus is out of control and is uncontained anywhere around the world, it continues to present a risk to the American people.
According to the World Health Organization, from January 3, 2020 to April 20, 2021, India has reported 15.3 million COVID-19 cases and over 1,80,000 deaths. As of April 11, a total of 104 million vaccine doses had been administered, the WHO said.