13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27
QUESTION: The – in addition to this aid, you guys put out this new travel notice, travel alert today, which mentioned the authorized departure for families of U.S. government personnel at the embassy and the, what is it, four consulates. I’m just curious. Is this by popular demand? Were there people – and I know you don’t want to get into numbers or anything, but were people wanting to leave and have people left already under this – the authorized departure?
MR PRICE: Well, thanks for that question. And I think it’s important to speak for just a moment about what this was and importantly what this was not. Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure, so-called authorized departure, of family members of embassy – at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and the consulates throughout the country. Authorized departure doesn’t force anyone to leave; it doesn’t require anyone to leave. It gives these family members the option to depart if they wish. Departure, again, is not required.
There’s also been I think some misreporting, perhaps a misperception, that we provided revised guidance to private American citizens in India. That is not true. There was a pro forma reissuance of the travel advisory, the level four travel advisory that had previously been in effect, given COVID not only in India but also globally as well.
QUESTION: Yeah, but are people taking advantage of it? Were people wanting this, or was it just decided from here and from the ambassador or whoever the charge is that this would be a good idea? I mean, is there a rush to the exits?
MR PRICE: I don’t have the numbers. I’m not sure we’d be able to provide them, regardless, given —
QUESTION: I don’t want your numbers. I just want to know if people are taking advantage of this.
MR PRICE: Well, I think it speaks to the fact that we put the safety and health of our employees and their families, in this case – we prioritize that, and so that is why the department thought it prudent to give them the option to depart the country if they so wished.
Flights to U.S. cities remain open. However, those originating from India to Canada, the UK, UAE, and South East Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong) have been suspended. United Airlines temporarily cancelled their flights on April 23 from Delhi to Chicago, Newark, and San Francisco due to technical difficulties. United is working to restore service as quickly as possible. Travelers should check with the airline for scheduling updates. United Airlines’ codeshare flights on Lufthansa and United’s flights from Mumbai have not been impacted. Delta’s codeshare flights from India on Air France and KLM also remain operational. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice and the Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory advising against all travel to India.
The United States is determined to help the people of India. We will continue to stand together in our shared battle against COVID-19. https://t.co/Om74VC0Fyx
— Jake Sullivan (@JakeSullivan46) April 29, 2021
Coronavirus has crushed India’s health system. Patients are on their own. https://t.co/p5Ic6FRcjd
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 27, 2021
"The positivity rate hit a staggering 36 percent — meaning more than one out of three people tested were infected. A month ago, it was less than 3 percent."
This @gettleman dispatch from New Dehli is a must read. So raw, so real https://t.co/kvHJRaGfBv
& the photos laid me flat
— Elise Hu (@elisewho) April 28, 2021
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) April 27, 2021
NEW: There has been a major coronavirus outbreak among US diplomatic staff in India with 2 locally employed staff dying & more than 100 people testing positive in recent wks as the country struggles to cope with a dramatic surge, w/ @jmhansler @NicoleCNN https://t.co/nztwQUbeZ5
— Kylie Atwood (@kylieatwood) April 26, 2021
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) April 27, 2021
All U.S. Embassy New Delhi’s in-person 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐚 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰-𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐀𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐥 𝟐𝟔 – 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝟗 in light of current pandemic conditions.
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) April 23, 2021
The consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata continue to offer limited visa appointments, but may cancel certain appointments as local conditions require.
— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) April 23, 2021
Considering current COVID-19 conditions, all routine services at @USAndChennai are canceled from April 26 through May 15th, including all routine non-immigrant visa interview appointments, interview waiver appointments, and routine American Citizen Services appointments. (1/2)
— US Consulate Chennai (@USAndChennai) April 26, 2021
India reports 3,23,144 new Covid-19 cases, 2771 deaths and 2,51,827 discharges in the last 24 hours. Active cases stand at 28,82,204.
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) April 27, 2021
Donald Lu, Nominee for Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Department of State
Donald Lu, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, has been U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic since 2018. Previously, Lu was U.S. Ambassador to Albania. He has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy New Delhi, India, Deputy Chief of Mission and the Chargé d’affaires, U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan and Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Earlier, Lu was the Deputy Director, Office of Central Asian and South Caucasus Affairs, for the Department of State and, before that, the Special Assistant to the Ambassador for the Newly Independent States. He also held postings in India, Georgia, and Pakistan. Lu earned M.A. and B.A. degrees from Princeton University. He is the recipient of the Rockwell Anthony Schnabel Award for advancing U.S.-European Union relations. Ambassador Lu speaks and reads Albanian, Russian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, West African Krio, Hindi and Urdu.
🇺🇸👏 | @USEmbassyKG is proud to learn that @POTUS has announced his intention to nominate Donald Lu, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, as the next Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. @State_SCA
✅ https://t.co/ZwKYX3BC59 pic.twitter.com/JE2ul3MHjl
— U.S. Embassy Bishkek (@USEmbassyKG) April 23, 2021
New Quarantine Measures: The Kazakhstani Government has announced that quarantine restrictions will be reinstated throughout the country starting July 5. These restrictions will be in effect for at least 14 days, and may be extended or strengthened. Other municipalities may introduce restrictions beyond the below and with little or no notice; for the latest information, see your respective city’s website. Links are provided on our COVID-19 page.
· Transportation: Regional bus service will be suspended, and municipal transportation will be limited. Rail travel will be limited. Domestic and international air travel will remain at current levels.
· Businesses Shuttered: Most business will be closed, including beauty salons, gyms and fitness centers, pools, closed markets, beaches, cultural facilities, museums, exhibits, entertainment centers, religious facilities, movie theaters, food courts, and recreational facilities.
· Essential Businesses Exempt: Some essential business will continue to operate, including grocery stores, open-air markets, and pharmacies. Health centers will offer services by appointment. Limited enterprises, such as companies in construction, agriculture, auto service, and commercial banks will remain open. Restaurants will be open for delivery or take-out; summer patios will remain open.
· Personal Movement Limited: All large events and family gatherings are prohibited. Individual outdoor fitness activities are permitted, and people may walk in parks and other public spaces in groups of three or less. Individuals older than 65 years old are limited from leaving their residence.
For U.S citizens who need to travel by vehicle from areas with restricted movement in order to reach an airport with international flights, the only assistance we can provide is to request passage through the checkpoints from the Government of Kazakhstan (GoK). Based on the GoK’s requirements, you must provide us the below information at least four business days before your scheduled flight. Address this information to the following addresses: AlmatyUSCitizen@state.gov or Nur-SultanUSCitizen@state.gov. This information will be shared with the Kazakhstani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On March 14, 2020, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
❗️COVID-19 and Travel Update
U.S. Mission Kazakhstan (July 8, 2020)https://t.co/ywmtxX2r3e
— U.S. Embassy to Kazakhstan (@USembassyKAZ) July 8, 2020
How not to do Covid: Kazakhstan first country in the world to fully return to lockdown https://t.co/Tr7gC7OepA
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 5, 2020
#Kazakhstan reports of non-#Covid19 pneumonias: @WHO notes "there have been >10,000 confirmed cases over the past 7 days. (Code for: maybe Covid)
"We are currently in contact with the authorities in Kazakhstan to understand situation developments & provide support as needed."
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) July 9, 2020
‘Unknown pneumonia’ deadlier than coronavirus sweeping Kazakhstan, Chinese embassy warns https://t.co/nKeD5MZSZc
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) July 9, 2020
VIDEO At a coronavirus call centre in 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan's capital volunteers are under siege.
Bishkek is a new virus epicentre that has re-emerged with a vengeance since Kyrgyzstan and neighbours Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan began relaxing stay-at-home orders https://t.co/ebleXrqzhx pic.twitter.com/P2bS6eX3v1
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 8, 2020
I personally came to admire Ambassador Wells’ dedication to our team’s mission and her dogged pursuit of American excellence. We commend her service and wish her the best.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 3, 2020
Congratulations to @State_SCA’s Ambassador Alice Wells on her retirement. We enjoyed hosting her trips to #Nepal and the @StateDept will miss her experience and leadership. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/wOECvIUNF1
— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) May 5, 2020
— RFE/RL Gandhara (@GandharaRFE) May 4, 2020
Alice Wells, a career diplomat who has served as acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia for most of the Trump administration, will retire on May 22 after a 31-year career,https://t.co/mkmbBi0tWk
— Daily Times (@dailytimespak) May 5, 2020
Great to welcome Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells, & Senior Director NSC Lisa Curtis to #India. 2019 was a big year for the #USIndia partnership & we look forward to further advancing relations in 2020! pic.twitter.com/djnElvPCVa
— Ken Juster (@USAmbIndia) January 15, 2020
Reconsider Travel to Turkmenistan due to the Global Health Advisory and Embassy Ashgabat’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens.
On March 27, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. government employees under the age of 18 in addition to the authorized departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees due to stringent travel restrictions and quarantine procedures that affect commercial flights.
The Government of Turkmenistan has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All incoming international flights are being redirected to Turkmenabat, approximately 291 miles from Ashgabat. Passengers will be required to undergo medical screening and possibly involuntary quarantine at local medical facilities.
Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of U.S. Embassy Ashgabat for additional information on these new measures.
Medical protocols in Turkmenistan are not consistent with U.S. standards and some travelers have been required to undergo medical testing unrelated to COVID-19. Consider declining any medical testing unrelated to COVID-19.
Due to the possibility of quarantine of unknown length, carry additional supplies of necessary medication in carry-on luggage. Contact the U.S. Embassy if you are subject to quarantine or prior to undergoing any invasive medical testing or procedures.