India's Coronavirus Crisis: Scenes From Delhi's Sardar Patel Covid Centre

Two US diplomatic staff killed in India Covid outbreak, report says

Country continues to grapple with devastating second wave

Louise Hall
Wednesday 28 April 2021 00:36

Two US diplomatic staff members have been killed during a major coronavirus outbreak in India which has led to over 100 infections, a report has claimed.

CNN reported that two sources told the broadcaster that a recent outbreak among US diplomatic staff in India has led to the deaths of two locally employed staff.

The report comes as the country continues to grapple with a devastating second wave of coronavirus cases as the country’s fragile healthcare system becomes increasingly overwhelmed.

On Monday, the country reported 2,812 deaths and 352,991 new cases in one day as health professionals struggle with a shortage of medical equipment and a rise in infections that shows no signs of receding.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN that the "department has no higher priority than the safety and security of its employees."

"We are closely monitoring the situation and we will take all necessary measures to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees, including offering vaccines to employees," they reportedly said.

A spokesperson would not confirm the deaths to the broadcaster and reportedly said that "privacy considerations limit what we can say."

The Independent has reached out to the State Department for comment and to confirm the report.

The sources reportedly did not provide details on where in the country the employees were thought to have tested positive and died.

The United States operates four physical consulates in different cities, an embassy in the capital of New Delhi and a virtual consulate in Bangalore.

Sources reportedly told CNN that some staff has been frustrated because they felt that they were not given clear information about when vaccines would be made available to the US diplomatic mission.

One source told the outlet that diplomatic staff and families had begun receiving Covid-19 vaccines within the past two weeks.

The broadcaster said that a source noted the department had begun working to get vaccines to certain locations where personnel live on campus.

One source reportedly noted that the shot "came too late for the two people who died ... it’s horrible."

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