Covid-19 Outbreak At US Diplomatic Mission In India Worsens As State Department Allows Some Employees To Depart

Covid-19 Outbreak At US Diplomatic Mission In India Worsens As State Department Allows Some Employees To Depart

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(CNN)There has been an outbreak of more than 200 cases of coronavirus at the US diplomatic mission in India, a source tells CNN, as the State Department this week authorized non-emergency government employees to depart the country amid a deadly surge of the disease.

In addition to the outbreak of positive cases among the workforce at the diplomatic mission — which is comprised of the embassy in New Delhi and consulates across India — CNN has also learned that the State Department had to conduct a medical evacuation from the country.

CNN reported on April 26 that two locally employed staff had died and more than 100 people were infected with coronavirus at the US Mission in India. It is unclear if the increase to over 200 cases developed over the past weeks or where in the country staff have tested positive.

    India is in the throes of a deadly second wave of coronavirus, reporting its highest-ever 24-hour surge in Covid-19 cases and a record-high daily death toll on Thursday. Hospitals are facing critical shortages of supplies and oxygen, even as shipments are being sent by governments around the world.

      A State Department spokesperson would not confirm the current number of positive cases, citing privacy considerations, but said “the health, safety, and security of US Government personnel and their dependents is the Department’s highest priority.”

        “We are closely monitoring the situation and we will take all necessary measures to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees, including offering vaccines to employees,” the spokesperson said.

        A source previously told CNN that US personnel, family members and locally employed staff in India only began receiving Covid vaccines in mid-April.

          The spokesperson said the department made the decision to allow the employees to voluntarily leave the country “because of current conditions associated with the

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          Covid-19 outbreak at US diplomatic mission in India worsens as State Department allows some employees to depart

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