SYDNEY: Australia on Tuesday introduced a short lived ban on direct passenger flights from India as a result of “clearly present” dangers of journey, because the South Asian nation grapples with document breaking surge in coronavirus infections.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated the suspension would stay in place till at the very least Could 15 as a result of “clearly present” dangers of journey from India, leaving hundreds of Australians — together with high-profile cricketers — stranded.
It follows related strikes by international locations together with Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Britain to halt or prohibit flights in response to the spiralling COVID disaster.
Learn extra: State of affairs in India past heartbreaking, says WHO chief
Morrison additionally stated Australia would ship medical help, together with oxygen tanks, ventilators and private protecting gear, to India as its well being system strains beneath the rising caseload.
The nation of 1.3 billion folks recorded 352,991 new infections and a pair of,812 deaths on Monday — its highest ranges because the pandemic started.
Morrison stated India was enduring a “terrible humanitarian crisis” that was additionally hitting Australian households with ties to the nation.
“The scenes that we’re seeing from India are truly heartbreaking,” he stated.
The flight ban comes a day after authorities lifted stay-at-home orders for 2 million folks in Perth, in Australia’s west, the place a snap lockdown was imposed after a person who returned from his marriage ceremony in India contaminated others in quarantine.
Learn extra: India’s coronavirus disaster intensifies as Britain, Germany and US pledge help
The virus then unfold to others locally, prompting calls from some state leaders for Canberra to toughen its strategy to journey from the subcontient.
Morrison burdened that the suspension was not a everlasting measure, saying repatriation flights would resume with the “most vulnerable” given precedence.
“We don’t think the answer is to forsake those Australians in India and just shut them off, as some seem to suggest,” he stated, including there can be no particular remedy for cricketers presently taking part in within the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Australia had already restricted the variety of flights from India in an effort to manage the unfold of coronavirus, which has largely been contained Down Underneath.
Learn extra: Regardless of India’s harrowing coronavirus state of affairs, its govt is extra centered on gagging critics
Earlier this month, neighbouring New Zealand imposed a short lived block on all travellers from India, shutting out returning Kiwis for the primary time because the pandemic emerged.
Australia closed its worldwide borders to most non-citizens in March 2020 and people allowed to journey should spend 14 days in quarantine motels on their return.
The nation of 25 million has recorded fewer than 30,000 circumstances because the pandemic started and 910 deaths, with no main outbreaks since final yr and most elements of the nation having fun with few restrictions.