21 June 2021 22:46

COVID19: Morrison Government providing 3,000 ventilators and more to help India

Australian Government has agreed on a number of new measures to protect Australians from the increased risk of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, while also providing significant new support to assist the Indian Government in its humanitarian response.

In a statement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison recognised the challenging COVID-19 crisis that India is currently battling and committed to stand ready to provide more support to friends in India and Indian Australians during this difficult time.

“On advice from the Chief Medical Officer, India has been determined to be a high-risk country for the purposes of travel arrangements,” said the statement

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Earlier on Tuesday, PM Morrison announced, “Australia will implement a temporary pause on direct passenger flights between India and Australia for two weeks, with consideration of further flights to be made by 15 May 2021.”

Passengers on all future flights will be required to have both a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result and a negative Rapid Antigen test result prior to taking off.

Once flights restart, the Federal Government will prioritise the return of vulnerable Australians. Already almost 20,000 registered Australians have returned from India since the pandemic began.

Australia has placed restrictions on outbound travel exemptions to high-risk countries to strictly essential travel only which includes three criteria…

1- National interest
2- Medical exemption
3- COVID-19 purposes

For indirect flights through Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), the Federal Government notified that flights to and from these transit points and India have been paused by respective governments.

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As a close friend and comprehensive strategic partner, Australia stands with India as it battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, said Mr. Morrison

Following consultation with the Indian Government, Australia will provide emergency medical supplies.

The initial package of support includes rapid deployment of 500 non-invasive ventilators, with the capacity to deploy up to a total of 3,000 ventilators.

Federal Government is also supplying a significant package of personal protective equipment (PPE), including one million surgical masks, 500,000 P2/N95 masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves and 20,000 face shields.

Besides, the government has agreed to commence procurement of 100 oxygen concentrators, along with tanks and consumables.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will manage the movement of PPE and equipment over the next week.

PM Morrison says, “My government is standing with Australians in India and we recognise the difficulties they face. The Hardship Program and Consular Support continues to be available to Australians in India.”

The current restrictions will be under regular review, as we look to find a solution for those seeking to return to Australia.

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