Indian Australians Say Morrison 'Morally Obliged' To Repatriate Citizens Stranded In India

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India's surge has seen it add about 350,000 cases and 2,600 deaths a day, and the healthcare  system has been pushed to breaking point
India's surge has seen it add about 350,000 cases and 2,600 deaths a day, and the healthcare  system has been pushed to breaking point AFP / Maude BRULARD

Indian Australians are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government to help stranded citizens in the COVID-19-stricken country to come home. 

Syndey-based cardiologist Dr. Yadu Singh believes the government has to work towards mass repatriation. She says the Morrison government is "morally obliged to do everything for Australians who are stuck there."

“I have been approached by a lot of Indians in Australia who say we actually need to do more. I urge Mr. Morrison to consider a separate quarantine facility, where they are not causing risk to other arrivals,” Singh told The Guardian

Singh, president of the Federation of Indian Associations of New South Wales and chair of the Council of Indian Federations of Australia, suggests setting up new quarantine facilities to allow for repatriations. 

India's COVID-19 situation has worsened in the past weeks, with record-high cases and deaths reported. From Sunday to Monday morning, there have been 352,991 new cases and 2,812 deaths recorded, according to data from the Indian Government. 

However, there have been no verbalized plans of bringing home stranded citizens. In fact, the National Cabinet has agreed to temporarily reduce the number of flights from India by 30% following the surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner also said repatriation flights from India to Howard Springs set for next month will be moved to June. 

"All repatriation flights not yet booked but planned for the NT for May will now be deferred until June," Gunner said.

"Anyone returning from India on these flights and all flights thereafter will be required to isolate for two weeks prior to departure."

However, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday said it's working with the Indian government to assist where it can. 

"India is literally gasping for oxygen," Hunt said, ABC  noted.

"We are in a strong position on that front because we don't need them at this point in time," he added. 

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