COVID-19: After backlash, Australia to send repatriation flights for stranded citizens in India

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 07, 2021, 10:48 AM(IST)

Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

'The order that we have put in place has been highly effective, it’s doing the job that we needed it to do, and that was to ensure that we could do everything we can to prevent a third wave,' Morrison said

Australia’s recent decision on border closure has attracted a lot of criticism, especially on humanitarian grounds.

However, after facing backlash about the strict punishment for the people returning from India, the Australian government has decided to lift the ban and start repatriation flights for citizens stuck in India from May 15.

Also read | Coronavirus in India: Australian state of Victoria sends aid worth $31 million to India

“The National Security Committee of Cabinet has confirmed that it will have done its job by then, and as a result we see no need to extend it beyond that date,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

He also defended his decision of implementing a heavy financial penalty and jail time for anyone attempting to use a loophole in the rule by flying in from a third country.

Also read | India sets yet another record with over 414,000 new COVID-19 cases; death toll stands at 234,083

“The order that we have put in place has been highly effective, it’s doing the job that we needed it to do, and that was to ensure that we could do everything we can to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 here in Australia,” Morrison said.

The country will send three repatriation flights to India between May 15 and May 31, which are expected to bring back nearly 900 people stuck in India during the covid crisis. The most vulnerable people will be given priority in this process, Morrison said.

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