The Australian reports that the federal government’s national security committee will meet today to discuss the provision of humanitarian assistance to India. This could include supplying stockpiled medical equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment.
The federal government is also likely to further restrict travel between the two nations after India recorded 352,991 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Australia also recorded 25 new COVID-19 cases in hotel quarantine in the last 24 hours.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has stressed the need to strike a balance between keeping Australia safe and allowing citizens and permanent residents to return from overseas:
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The speed of the COVID-19 infection spread in India has forced DFAT officials to prepare Australians in India for the likelihood of a travel ban, with thousands attempting to return home…
The Australian understands the government was assessing how it could best support Australians getting home, and was working on upgraded quarantine measures which could facilitate people leaving India.
The virus numbers coming out of India are truly frightening.
New cases have risen almost exponentially:
COVID deaths have also surged:
Heart breaking stories have emerged of patients dying outside hospitals waiting for beds accompanied by SOS tweets by some of Delhi’s largest hospitals saying that they have just a few hours of oxygen remaining (forcing authorities to react with emergency provisions).
Given only a small percentage of Indians have been vaccinated, the situation could get worse before it gets better:
Hopefully the world rallies around India and provides it with the necessary medical equipment. Otherwise a humanitarian crisis is on the cards.
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