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COVID-19: India travel ban until at least 15 May

COVID-19: India travel ban until at least 15 May

Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for Health has temporarily banned all entry to Australia for anyone who has been in India within the last 14 days “… of the person’s intended arrival date in Australia”.

The ban on travel from India takes effect at 12.01am on Monday 3 May 2021.

a street with people and a horse carriage
Backstreets of old Delhi

Indian COVID-19 horror

India is currently reporting more than 300,000 and close to 400,000 new cases each day – for the last 9 days. Its health system is completely overwhelmed. Oxygen is in short supply, and the number of deaths per day is exceeding 3,000.

This decision will, unfortunately, leave around 9,000 Indian-Australians stranded for the moment, unable to return to Australia.

The decision came after a meeting of the National Cabinet on Friday 30 May.

“The government does not make these decisions lightly. However, it is critical the integrity of the Australian public health and quarantine systems is protected and the number of COVID-19 cases in quarantine facilities is reduced to a manageable level.”

Greg Hunt, Minister for Health
a group of women and a child standing next to each other

Go directly to Jail

There are severe penalties including 5 years imprisonment for anyone trying to avoid the ban by entering Australia via a third country, like Doha in Qatar or New Zealand.

USA makes similar ban

The United States will ban all except Americans and permenant US residents as of Tuesday, and other nations are or have implemeneted similar bans including Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Dubai, Canada, Pakistan, New Zealand, Iran, Netherlands, Thailand, India and many more.

a group of people standing in front of a white building with Taj Mahal in the background

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

This is terrible news for citizens stranded in India, or with family there, however it is necessary considering how rampant the pandemic is on the sub-continent, and how badly it has been managed by Indian politicians.

Australia’s difficulties with hotel quarantine, and the recent misdirection of a positive traveller from Papua New Guinea into the green zone of Brisbane Airport doesn’t help.

Many nations including Australia are offering assistance in the form of vaccines, and oxygen generating equipment.

Health experts are saying that this uncontrolled outbreak will continue the pandemic for several more years, and increase the risk of vaccine resistant strains being developed.

There is no good news here for anyone.

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