Access to medical care limited, leave India: US tells citizens
As apocalyptic scenes emerge from across India owing to a raging coronavirus wave, the United States has advised its citizens to leave the country as soon as possible. A Level 4 travel advisory, the highest issued by the Department of State, underlined that access to all kinds of medical care has become severely limited in India due to the surge in coronavirus cases.
The advisory added, "US citizens who wish to depart India should take advantage of available commercial transportation options now." It was also highlighted that there are daily flights running between India and the US. They also have the option of returning by boarding flights that have stopovers in Paris and Frankfurt. The department urged citizens to visit Indian Health Ministry's website for more information.
Further, the advisory mentioned the dire situation in India. It said that new deaths and cases have risen sharply and testing is constrained in many locations. "Hospitals are reporting shortages of supplies, oxygen, and beds for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related patients. The US citizens are reporting being denied admittance to hospitals in some cities due to a lack of space," the document read.
As more and more US citizens are now looking to leave India, Air India could operate as many direct flights as it did before the outbreak, TOI reports. Several people fear that they could be stranded if the US also bans travel from India. They are also concerned that they might not receive proper medical aid if they fall sick.
"India-US flights are going full (leading to high fares) with people scrambling to return. Most Air India and United India-US flights till about mid-May are almost sold out," a person privy to the development told the daily.
Notably, on April 23, Canada had banned passenger flights from India for 30 days over the coronavirus spike. Following this, Air India had suspended all its flights to Vancouver and Toronto. Later, the company diverted those aircraft to the US and even started a new route between Delhi and Newark. Australia has also suspended passenger flights from India till May 15.
In the catastrophic second wave of coronavirus, daily deaths and new infections are rising at an alarming rate. In the last 24 hours, India reported 3.79 lakh infections, the highest single-day surge for any country. With 3,645 fatalities, it also marked the deadliest day. The recovery rate has slipped to 82.10% and the active cases make for over 16% of the total caseload.