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A woman cries during the cremation of her husband, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a crematorium in New Delhi, India May 5, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Washington: The US State Department said on Wednesday it had approved the voluntary departure of non-emergency US government employees from India because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Last week, the department said family members of US government employees could voluntarily leave India.

A deadly second wave of coronavirus infections has swept through India in recent weeks, creating a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen for patients.

The State Department has advised Americans not to travel to India and said those wishing to depart should take advantage of available commercial transportation.