South Australia Cancels Air India Flights; Why Australia Is Not Allowing Indians To Enter?
Another setback for the Australian citizens and permanent residents stuck in India as Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell informed about the Air India flight cancellation to 150 Indians who were set to fly out to Adelaide on 6 August.
Why Would This Happen?
As per the reports, Barry O’Farrell informed on twitter that the flight scheduled for Adelaide will instead land in Sydney on 8 August and only be ferrying 105 passengers, as NSW has reached to its limit on repatriated Australians in hotel quarantine.
It is noteworthy here that SA has recorded a total of 456 cases as of 5 August and out of that almost five recent cases were linked to returned travellers from India.
In response to SBS Punjabi queries, SA Health mentioned that they cancelled the repatriation flight from India so they can “balance all of the demands on the state’s medi-hotel capacity.”
They said, “Our first priority is for domestic quarantine. We have also got a number of international arrivals already with us and a number of charter flights in the next few days. We will be prioritising scheduled flights over the charter,”.
Currently, over a quarter of the SA police officers are occupied at managing medi-hotels and carrying out other coronavirus related duties.
“Each hotel takes in the order of about 35-40 police officers on a 24/7 basis to provide the security overlay that ensures people in that supervised quarantine arrangement are complying with their obligations,” said the state police commissioner Grants Stevens.
Mr Stevens said, “We have indicated that we have a limit that we can accommodate with the resources that we have, and I wouldn’t imagine we would exceed that limit,”.
Currently, SA has a 500 person per week cap on the number of international arrivals, while Sydney is allowing 350 passengers per day and on the other hand, Melbourne has completely halted all inbound passenger flights.
How Are Travellers Coping With The Situations?
In their words, “It is beyond frustrating. Initially, our return flights got cancelled due to travel restrictions, then we somehow managed to book tickets on an Air India flight in July which also got cancelled. And now this, just hours before boarding, they are telling us that flight will now be diverted to Sydney and will carry 45 fewer passengers,” said Rohit Gupta who remains stranded in Khanna in the north Indian state of Punjab along with his wife and three-year-old son, this is the third time that their life has been upended by flight cancellation.
He added, “The worst part is that we still don’t have any confirmation if my family will be allowed on to the August 8 Sydney flight,”.