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U.S. restricting travel from India amid raging COVID outbreak

The U.S. will restrict travel from India beginning May 4, as COVID-19 ravages the world’s second-largest country. 

The White House announced the new policy on Friday afternoon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already declared India “very high risk,” and recommended that Americans avoid all travel to India. 

“On the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administration will restrict travel from India starting immediately,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s office said in a statement. “The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high COVID-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in the India. The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4.” 

The details of the travel restrictions have yet to be released. 

The United States’ first shipment of emergency medical aid supplies arrived in India on Friday, as the country has reported more than 300,000 new cases each day for the last week. India’s health care system received more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly a million test kits and other supplies. 

India reports that more than 200,000 people there have died from COVID-19, but the real figure is believed to be higher. The U.S. has still not agreed to release doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine to India, although President Biden said earlier this week he’s discussed the matter with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is a developing story. 

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