Australia Bans Flights from India

The suspension of flights will be reassessed on May 15
Australia has close to 9,000 of its citizens in India
Australia has close to 9,000 of its citizens in India

Following in the footsteps of several nations who have banned air travel from India, Australia, too, suspended all direct passenger flights to the country. India is currently facing a crushingly severe second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the total caseload in the past week alone amounting to over two million. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the decision on Tuesday, April 27, adding that the ban will be reassessed on May 15. A number of countries including the Maldives, Germany, Italy, the UK and Bangladesh have, in the past week, introduced travel restrictions of different kinds on arrivals from India.

The restriction was implemented during a meeting held by the national security committee of the cabinet. The other agenda of the meeting was to extend help in the form of equipment and other assistance as India struggles with acute shortage of medical oxygen and beds for those affected by the mutated coronavirus. As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, the suspension will also affect repatriation flights expected in Darwin, in addition to direct ones to Sydney. 

Close to 9,000 Australians are at the moment in India and desirous to return home. Most of these are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian cricketers, too, are currently engaged in the Indian Premier League. A number of international cricketers have already pulled out of the league and flown home, but the Australians are expected to face a bit of difficulty after PM Morrison stated that the former would have to arrange their "own arrangements" to fly back home. 

India has on Tuesday recorded 3.3 lakh fresh cases and the already crumbling healthcare system continues to face pressure. Even stricter curbs on movement and travel are expected to be implemented in the coming days.

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