Australian residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday. The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement. The move aims at keeping the coronavirus spread in check-in Australia as India is facing a surge in infection cases. The decision was based on the proportion of overseas travellers in quarantine in Australia, who have contracted the infection in India, according to Health Minister Greg hunt. The decision will be revised on May 15 following advice from the chief medical officer (CMO).
The ministry statement said it is important that the integrity of the Australian public health and quarantine system are protected and the number of COVID-19 cases in isolation facilities is reduced to a manageable level. The statement also expressed solidarity with India, saying, “Our hearts go out to the people of India and our Indian-Australian community. The friends and family of those in Australia are in extreme risk.” Australia will also provide India emergency medical supplies, including over 1,000 non-invasive ventilators. Breaking all records, India on Saturday reported a massive surge of 402,110 cases. India became the first country in the world to register over 400,000 infections in a single day. As many as 3,522 new deaths were also reported on the day. The cumulative caseload stands at 19,157,094 and the death toll from the virus has reached 211,835. India now has nearly 3.3 million active cases. India has reported 2,497,675 number of fresh cases in mere seven days. India's armed forces were on Friday granted emergency financial powers to augment their efforts in the battle against Covid-19, the second wave of which has brought devastation to the country in the past few weeks.