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US lowers travel advisory caution; urges citizens to reconsider travelling to India

US lowers travel advisory caution; urges citizens to reconsider travelling to India

Washington: The US has upgraded its travel advisory for India and urged citizens to reconsider travelling to the country in view of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.

The travel advisory has been lowered from the highest Level 4 to Level 3. The Level 4 restriction bans any travel from the specified country and the Level 3 restriction urges people to reconsider travel.

It also eased travel recommendations on Pakistan from Level 4 to Level 3.

"Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers," the advisory issued by the US State Department said.

The improvement of the travel advisories for India and Pakistan by the State Department on Monday comes in an acknowledgment of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the region.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for India due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country, the State Department said on Monday.

The latest travel advisory replaces the one issued on May 5 that had placed India in the Level 4 category.

When the last month's advisory was issued, India was struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported. Hospitals were reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds.

While the CDC issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for Pakistan due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of the pandemic, the State Department maintained Level 3 risk for US citizens travelling to the country due to terrorism.

"Reconsider travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and sectarian violence. Exercise increased caution in Pakistan due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory," the State Department said.

On Monday, India saw 38,164 new coronavirus infections, while the death toll climbed to 4,14,108 with 499 fresh fatalities, the lowest in over three months, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday. The COVID-19 case tally has climbed to 3,11,44,229. The active cases have declined to 4,21,665.

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