Australia has just sent its second load of COVID AID to India today. The Qantas flight took off from Sydney and after halting at Darwin, it will fly to Delhi to deliver the second lot of AID to India. The Qantas plane on its way back will pick up the first lot of Australians stuck in India. Prime Minister Scott Morrison posted the detailed information on his Facebook page. India where COVID is raging unabated really needs these essential and vital medical supplies.
As the temporary ban on travel from India finishes in few hours, the plane carrying these supplies will be the first of many Government-facilitated flights for Australians to return home from India.
The Prime Minister wrote:
Another flight packed with medical supplies and equipment to support our good friends in India took off from Sydney earlier today.
This flight was carrying another 1056 ventilators, 60 oxygen concentrators and other essential supplies. It adds to the more than 1000 ventilators and 43 oxygen concentrators we sent last week.
At midnight tonight, the temporary pause on flights from India to Australia ends and facilitated commercial flights by the Australian Government will resume as promised, with a strict pre-flight testing regime to keep Australians safe.
That pause has worked. Active cases of COVID-19 in our hotel quarantine have dropped by over 40 per cent over the past few weeks, down from 292 to 171.
In the NT, where our first flights will return, it fell from 53 to 4 active cases.
The pause gave our quarantine system much-needed breathing space to minimise the risk of COVID-19 getting out of quarantine into the community and having a third wave here. It’s all about keeping Australians safe and ensuring we can keep living the way we are in Australia, which is like few other countries in the world today.
Also read: Why is there such a COVID mess in India?
The plane used to carry these supplies to India today will then act as a Government-facilitated flight for Australians to return home from India, focusing on the most vulnerable Australians.
Passengers will have to return both a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and a negative rapid antigen test result prior to departure.
Since COVID-19 hit, our Government has helped nearly 20,000 Australians return from India, including on 38 government-facilitated flights. #Budget2021 provides $176.3 million for facilitated flights to get more Australians home.
Australia continues to stand by India as they battle with a growing COVID-19 outbreak and humanitarian crisis and will continue to work in partnership with them to meet urgent needs.
This flight from Delhi – the first of many repatriation flights out of India will be a big relief to those who have their loved ones stuck in India, facing a real risk of getting infected with COVID’s new and more virulent variants while in India.