The United States advised its citizens to avoid travel to Bangladesh due to ‘very high risk of COVID-19 infection’.
“If Americans must travel to Bangladesh, they will have to make sure they are fully vaccinated before travel,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US said in its updated ratings for countries for travel.
Because of the “current situation” in Bangladesh, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants, the CDC said on its website, reports bdnews24.com with details from Reuters.
According to the recommendations published on Monday, travellers should follow requirements in Bangladesh, including wearing a mask and staying six feet apart from others.
Bangladesh is among 61 countries with a “very high level of COVID-19”, or “Level 4” as per the CDC ratings.
The others include Bangladesh’s neighbours India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Myanmar.
A highly infectious coronavirus variant, Delta, is now dominating COVID-19 cases in India.
First found in India, the variant has also been detected in parts of Bangladesh, especially the border districts that have emerged as new COVID hotspots.
Bangladesh recorded 2,537 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest daily count since Apr 28, taking the tally of infections to 817,819, on Wednesday. The death toll rose by 36 in 24 hours to 12,949.
The CDC said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices.
The agency also said it also revised its rating for the United States to "Level 3" from "Level 4."
It said the new criteria for a “Level 4 avoid all travel" recommendation has changed to 500 cases per 100,000 from 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.
It has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Japan just ahead of the Olympics.
An additional 50 countries and territories have been lowered to "Level 2" or "Level 1," a CDC spokeswoman said. Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize and Albania.
Among those now listed at "Level 3," are France, Ecuador, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Hungary and Italy.
The United States bars nearly all non-US citizens who have within the previous 14 days been to China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, India, South Africa, Brazil, Iran and the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without border controls.