Australia decided, on Tuesday, to suspend flights from India until May 15 due to the severity of the epidemic in that Asian country that is shattering infection records.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison justified the decision by the “risks” posed by travelers from India, including thousands of Australians, including famous cricketers.
Australia has joined Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and New Zealand in suspending or restricting their flights to India.
The Australian government has also announced that it will send medical aid, including oxygen containers, respirators and protective equipment, to India, which is flooding its hospitals.
India on Monday set a world record of 352,991 people infected in one day, and a national record of 2,812 deaths.
Morrison said that India, which has been plagued by the Indian type of virus, is experiencing a “terrible humanitarian crisis”.
The suspension of flights comes the day after the end of a three-day lockdown in Perth, Western Australia, where a man who had recently arrived from India caused other people to be in a quarantine hotel.
Morrison stressed that this suspension is temporary and that repatriation flights will resume for the most vulnerable in priority.
Australia closed its borders to most non-Australians in March 2020 and forced everyone entering its territory to spend 14 days in quarantine, measures that have helped slow the spread of the virus.
Since the start of the epidemic, Australia, with a population of 25 million, has recorded fewer than 30,000 cases of COVID-19, of which 910 are fatal.
hr / je / teacher / pz / zm / tjc