More than 70 Australians have been barred from returning home from India on a repatriation flight.
According to 9 News, this step was taken after 40 people tested positive to coronavirus.
These include 12 close contacts of the COVID positive cases who have have been barred from the first repatriation flight.
The Qantas flight that delivered 1056 ventilators, 60 oxygen concentrators and other essential supplies is being used to pick up the most vulnerable Australians from India.
The flight was due to leave New Dehli after the ban on returned travellers was lifted today, 15th May 2021, by the Australian government.
This repatriation flight, a Qantas plane, had a capacity of just 150 passengers and is due to leave New Delhi on Friday night.
The flight will arrive with Australian citizens and permanent residents in Darwin on Saturday morning after 9:00am.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell told the ABC.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed, as are those Australians who will not be on today’s flight. My team has worked hard across India to get them bookings on this flight because they are vulnerable.”
The High Commissioner further added that these people will now return to their respective homes in India and can only fly when they have a negative test result.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison had earlier written in a Facebook post:
“Passengers will have to return both a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and a negative rapid antigen test result prior to departure.”
International relations consultant and media personality, Erin Watson-Lynn wrote on Twitter:
“A friend of mine was on this flight. They’re negative and will fly.”
There are more than 9,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents seeking to return home from India.