Travel destinations

CDC adds Caribbean and African travel destinations to COVID warning list

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday added four countries to its list of high-risk travel destinations for COVID-19.

The countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Lesotho, South Africa and Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center on Tuesday released figures announcing 65,833 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, of which 65,794 have spread nationwide.

Two subvariants of omicron have propelled infections in South Africa, taking the number of cases there from 300 a day at the start of last month to 8,000 a day last week. However, symptoms are mild and severe and deaths have not increased, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

Lesotho, a country inside the larger country of South Africa, saw a similar wave.

The CDC maintains a list of countries categorized into four levels of COVID-19 severity: low, moderate, high, and special circumstances/do not travel. It also includes a designation for “COVID-19 Unknown”, which it currently applies to 52 countries.

The COVID-19 High category, to which the four new countries were added this week, is the largest of the groups, containing 110 countries in total.

There are currently no countries on the Special Circumstances/Do Not Travel list.

The announcement of the additions to the list of high-risk countries came the same day the CDC reported that the United States had reached 1 million deaths from the virus.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to rise in the United States, which has had more deaths per capita than neighboring Canada or Western European countries, although the death rate has dropped significantly as vaccines, a new treatment pill from Pfizer known as Paxlovid, and recent variants have reduced the risks of the virus.

Since 2021, deaths resulting from COVID-19 have disproportionately occurred among those who did not receive initial vaccine or booster doses.