Sunday, October 2, 2022

The first repatriation flight lands in Australia after travel ban in India ends

Australia has flown its first repatriation flight from India after temporarily banning all travel from the country plagued by Covid last month, the government said with 80 passengers arriving in Darwin from New Delhi on Saturday.

Passengers had to show two negative Covid-19 tests before boarding the government’s Qantas flight and were taken on a two-week quarantine upon arrival at a converted mining camp in Howard Springs in the Northern Territory.

The Australian government came under fire for temporarily banning all travel to and from India last month, a policy that provoked heavy criticism from lawmakers, expatriates and the Indian diaspora.

A total of 70 passengers were banned from boarding on Friday after they or their close contacts tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We are following the medical advice and making sure we protect Australians here, and I am glad that the first flight has arrived and that there will of course be more flights,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a televised briefing.

“It is important to do the test we are currently doing before people get on the planes to Australia. This is the process we are following and we will continue to follow.”

Two more repatriation flights from the Australian Air Force to the Northern Territory are planned this month, with about 1,000 people scheduled to return by the end of June. About 9,000 Australians in India have registered with the federal government and requested to return home.

The government plans to more than double the capacity of the quarantine facility in Howard Springs, 25 km (16 miles) southeast of the city of Darwin, so that it can handle the second week every two weeks from June.

India has reported more than 300,000 infections a day in the past three weeks, which has overwhelmed its healthcare system and left many without hospital beds, oxygen and adequate treatment.

By contrast, Australia was one of the world’s most successful countries in curbing the pandemic, with border closures, border closures and rapid contact detection. There have been just under 29,950 coronavirus infections and 910 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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