TAMPA, Fla. — The Biden administration is restricting travel from India due to a deadly surge of coronavirus cases and variants in the country.
The new policy goes into effect on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and will not apply to American citizens, lawful permanent residents or humanitarian workers.
India is now experiencing the world’s worst outbreak, creating a heartbreaking scenario for some Tampa Bay residents watching the emergency unfold from a world away.
“You’re just crossing your fingers every day you wake up,” said Appanjit Singh. “You hope and pray the numbers go down.”
Appanjit Singh and Harpartap Singh, who both live in Tampa Bay, have dozens of family members in India.
They are keeping in constant communication hoping the country sees some improvement in the spread of the virus.
“Last year, we were hearing about other people getting it,” said Harpartap. “Now we are hearing about our family members getting it. This has reached our homes now.”
The travel ban comes after the count in India continues to grow rapidly. The country reported more than 368,000 new cases on Sunday alone.
India hit its largest daily death toll to date with more than 3,600 people dying on Sunday.
Harpartap Singh says his parents are vaccinated and are staying in their home as much as possible.
He warns the deadly surge playing out in India is a critical reminder for everyone to remain vigilant.
“Let’s not get complacent. This can happen anywhere. I think it’s a lesson for the whole world," Harpartap said.