WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States will restrict travel from India from May 4, the White House announced on Friday, citing a devastating increase in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s administration made its decision on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The policy will be implemented in light of the extraordinarily high number of COVID-19 cases and the multiple variants circulating in India,” she said.
With 386,452 new cases, India has reported more than 18.7 million since the start of the pandemic, just behind the United States. The health ministry also reported 3,498 deaths in the past 24 hours on Friday, bringing the total to 208,330 people. Experts believe both figures are underestimated, but it’s unclear by how much.