Fact Check: Did US Issue Advisory To Its Citizens To Leave India?

Bhubaneswar: A day after it was reported that the US government advised its citizens to leave India as soon as possible because of the escalating COVID-19 crisis, the State Department denied issuing any such advisory.

“There has been some misreporting, perhaps a misperception, that we provided revised guidance to private American citizens in India. That is not true,” a news agency quoted US State Department spokesman Ned Price saying on Thursday.

Clarifying that the department has reissued a routine travel advisory for India, which is applicable to 80% of the countries, Price said, “There was a ‘pro forma’ reissuance of the travel advisory, the Level 4 travel advisory that had previously been in effect, given Covid (is) not only in India but also globally as well.”

Stating that it is a guidance to Americans in India, Price said it does not force anyone to leave nor require anyone to leave. “It gives these family members the option to depart if they wish. Departure, again, is not required,” he said.

Earlier, it was reported that in a Level 4 travel advisory — the highest issued by the Department of State — US citizens were told “not to travel to India or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so”.

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