By Adedayo Akinwale
The United States (US) has urged medical professionals around the world seeking to work in US, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to approach the nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.
The US which had in the past few months put in place visa restrictions made the plea after recording the highest number of known cases of coronavirus in the world with more than 85, 749 confirmed cases.
The US cases piled up Thursday, surpassing China and Italy.
The US in a statement published Thursday March 26 on the website of the Department of State read: “We encourage medical professionals seeking to work in the United States on a work or exchange visitor, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of COVID-19, to reach out to the nearest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.
“For those foreign medical professionals already in the United States:
“J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may consult with their program sponsor, ECFMG, to extend their programs in the United States. Generally, a J-1 program for a foreign medical resident can be extended one year at a time for up to seven years.
“Note that the expiration date on a U.S. visa does not determine how long one can be in the United States.”
As of Friday, the United States has at least 85,749 cases while China was reporting 81,782, while there have been more than 550, 530 cases reported worldwide.
In New York, where more than half of the US cases have been reported, exhausted hospital workers are turning to increasingly desperate measures to combat the virus.