“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 India. The policy will take effect on Tuesday, May 4.”
The announcement comes amid a devastating rise of coronavirus cases in India. The country recorded 386,452 Covid-19 cases on Friday, another record daily rise of cases, according to a CNN tally of figures from the Indian Ministry of Health.
CNN reports that Friday’s tally is the ninth day in a row the country has added more than 300,000 cases a day, bringing the total number to more than 18.7 million. The country also reported 3,498 deaths, bringing the death toll to 208,330.
Kamala Harris addressed the travel restrictions Friday afternoon. “It is important to note, as I said earlier, that we have a responsibility as the United States in particular, as it relates to the people that we have partnered with over the years, to step up when people are in a time of need,” Harris told CNN. “And as it relates to the people of India, we have long standing decades old relationship with India, with the Indian people, in particular around public health issues.”
Hours before the travel restrictions were announced, the United States’ first shipment of emergency medical supplies arrived in India. India’s health care system received more than 400 oxygen cylinders, nearly a million test kits and other supplies, according to CBS News.