Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has backed the federal government’s decision to suspend flights from Australia to coronavirus-stricken India.
Direct passenger flights between India and Australia will be temporarily suspended amid the country’s growing coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, adding that the moratorium would remain in place until May 15.
Ms. Palaszczuk tweeted in response to the news and said that “I welcome the federal government’s decision to increase aid to India. We will definitely help India in this crisis moment.”
She added that “I know the decision to suspend flights will be very hard for families but at the moment it is the right decision.”
The National Cabinet on Friday decided to reduce the number of direct flights from India by 30 per cent and an estimated 8,000 Australians are trapped in the country.
India has reported more than 350,000 COVID infections and over 2,800 deaths in a single day this week as the country’s medical systems have been collapsed.
Before the announcement Ms. Palaszczuk said “We need to do our best to protect the Queenslanders and the Australians. I understand that the Commonwealth is meeting to discuss this.”
Other countries have imposed temporary suspensions. I don’t think it would be too deadly to do it in Queensland and Australia either.
“We have some direct flights in the next few weeks. “Our health authorities are on high alert. We are very concerned about the number of people on those flights.”
The committee met to decide which resources Australia could send to India to assist the country on the basis of health advice.
Ms. Palaszczuk sought renewal for regional quarantine facilities, said that hotels are not hospitals that can treat infectious problems like COVID.
She added that “Our hotels have done a great job. And indeed, I’m really surprised that there has never been a greater outbreak than this. But what we are seeing is that the virus is spreading in the corridors as soon as the doors are opened and closed.”