By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The White House on Friday announced new travel restrictions from India beginning next week as the country deals with a massive surge in COVID cases.

Meanwhile, a local doctor hopes to make a difference for those suffering in his home country.

READ MORE: U.S. Restricting Travel From India Amid Raging COVID Outbreak

Volunteers and staff with Mount Sinai spent the day packing up life-saving supplies.

“They should feel that they are not alone in this thing. We are with them in this fight,” said Dr. Ash Tewari, Mount Sinai’s chairman of urology.

That’s reflected in a handwritten note Tewari sent along with the supplies reading, “You are not alone. We will fight it together.”


Tewari spearheaded the project to send ventilators and oxygenators to India. He survived COVID himself, and the crisis there is personal.

“I’m seeing 10,000 miles away my own friends going through that, so I’m really sad,” he told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “I really lost a very close childhood friend in the last ten days.”

READ MORE: As COVID-19 Rages On In India, New Jerseyans Are Stepping Up To Help Those Struggling

India is reporting 386,000 new infections, a global record for the most cases in a single day.

Concerned new strains there could make it into the United States, the White House announced a travel ban for non-U.S. citizens coming from India.

“People are worried. No question, people are worried,” Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday.

Harris says the U.S. has a responsibility to help its ally.

“We’re going to be sending a plane with supplies that will include oxygen,” she said.

Those supplies shipped Friday. The new travel restrictions take effect Tuesday.

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CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team