U.S. places Russia on highest level of COVID-19 travel advisories

COVID Variant D
Image: NIAID Rocky Mountain Laboratories

Nov. 2 (UPI) — Russia was among four travel destinations elevated to the highest risk level for COVID-19 by U.S. health officials on Monday, joining Belgium, Slovakia and Burkina Faso.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed Russia in the “Level 4: Very High” category, urging U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the country even if fully vaccinated against the disease.

“Because of the current situation in Russia, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said on its website.

The warning came after Russian health authorities on Monday reported 1,158 deaths from COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, just three fewer than the record set the previous day, as the pandemic continued to rage across the country.

Russia registered more than 40,000 new infections for a third straight day as 932,000 patients were undergoing treatment for COVID-19 nationwide.

On Thursday, Russia’s capital, Moscow, entered a 10-day partial lockdown as the rest of the country braced for a series of COVID-19 restrictions. Unvaccinated seniors in the capital must stay at home for the next four months as schools and businesses were shuttered.

Russia has vaccinated 37.2% of its population with at least one dose of a domestic-produced vaccine, including Sputnik 5.

In Belgium, the government last week re-imposed some COVID-19 restrictions as new cases and hospitalizations soared across the country.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo extended mandatory mask-wearing in indoor settings and mandated the use of COVID-19 health passes at more events after daily infections jumped 75% to 5,300 cases last week.

The CDC moved Slovakia to its highest COVID-19 alert level after local health officials identified more than 100 COVID-19 infection cases per 100,000 residents last week.

The Central European nation registered nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 infection cases and 20 deaths in a single day last week, the World Health Organization reported.

Meanwhile, the Burkina Faso Ministry of Health has confirmed 14,793 cases of COVID-19 and 214 related deaths in the country in figures updated last week.


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