The Prime Minister has confirmed that Australia will suspend passenger flights arriving from India, as the coronavirus crisis there worsens.
On Sunday alone, more than 325,000 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in India, while over 2,800 people passed away from the infection.
Australia is now taking immediate action to stop incoming flights putting pressure on our hotel quarantine facilities.
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It’s understood around 500 people have been impacted by the decision, with two direct services into Sydney suspended, along with repatriation flights into Darwin.
Meantime, indirect flights through Doha, Dubai and Singapore have also been stopped by the respective governments.
The suspension is currently in place until May 15, but could be extended if need be.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says they’ll review the suspension closer to that date, but there are already plans for how we could move forward.
“Passengers on all future flights, when and if those flights are resumed going forward, will be required to have both a negative PCR test and a negative rapid antigen test prior to uplift.
“Further flights to India will be considered prior to the 15th of May, with a focus on supporting vulnerable Australians, and particularly in relation to charter flights that are being put in place by the Australian government,” Mr Morrison said this afternoon.
The country is now also facing a critical shortage of oxygen and medical equipment.
The federal government has also announced an initial support package to help the struggling country, as it faces a critical shortage of oxygen and medical equipment.
We’re sending over 500 non-invasive ventilators, a million surgical masks, gowns, goggles, gloves and face shields.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already welcomed the decision, posting to social media shortly after the announcement.
“I welcome the Federal Government’s decision to increase aid to India. We stand united to help.
“I know the decision to suspend flights will be difficult for families, but it is the right decision at this time,” her post reads.