Australians to return from India as more essential supplies are dispatched
- The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care
Flights facilitated by the Australian Government to return Australians from India have resumed, with a plane departing Sydney today set to pick up passengers in New Delhi before arriving back in Darwin tomorrow.
The flight will also carry further life-saving oxygen equipment to India to support its COVID-19 response. These passengers will quarantine at the Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory. All passengers will undergo PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing before they travel.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said this temporary pause has helped mitigate the risk of potentially higher rates of infection presenting on arrival in Australia and ensured Australia's quarantine system was able to receive further flights.
“These government-facilitated flights will be focused on returning Australian citizens, residents and families who have registered with our High Commission and consular offices within India and will prioritise the most vulnerable people.”
Tomorrow's flight into Darwin brings the total number of government facilitated commercial flights from India to 39 – returning over 6,400 Australians since March 2020.
This will be the second flight of essential medical supplies to support our partners in their COVID-19 health response under the Morrison Government's $37.1 million support package for India, which is experiencing a severe rate of COVID-19 infections.
The next government-facilitated commercial flight from India is expected to arrive in Darwin on 23 May. Arrangements for further facilitated flights into Australia are underway.
Australia has now delivered over 15 tonnes of medical supplies to India, including over 2,000 ventilators and more than 100 oxygen concentrators.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt, said the Australian Government stands ready to offer further emergency medical supplies if requested by the Indian Government.
“The Australian Government is committed to doing all it can to support the Indian Government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Hunt said.
Minister Payne also praised the response of Australian businesses and everyday Australians and welcomed the support offered from state and territory governments.
The Victorian Government has committed 1,000 ventilators, the Queensland Government has donated $2 million in relief funds to the Australian Red Cross and Western Australia has also donated $2 million in relief funds. The Australian Government is in close consultation with the New South Wales and South Australian governments on their proposed support to India.
The Australian Government provides 24-hour consular emergency assistance. For urgent consular assistance, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas and 1300 555 135 from within Australia.
Australians seeking travel advice should consult the Smartraveller website. For non-urgent enquiries, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate or email firstname.lastname@example.org