Nearly half of the 150 people who booked to fly out of New Delhi for Australia will be unable to board the first repatriation flight home after some of them have contracted coronavirus or been a close contact.
Over 40 people have been barred from boarding the flight after testing positive to COVID-19. While some 30 people cannot board as they were identified as being close contacts.
The Guardian has reported that the flight was to leave for Australia early on Saturday and the repatriated Australians were to quarantine at a special facility.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade meanwhile has to find other passengers to fill the empty seats on the aircraft.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell said that those who will be missing out on their first reparation trip would be in line for those other flights.
“When they have received treatment when they have tested negative to COVID, they will be eligible again as vulnerable citizens for a future flight,” he said.
He further said that the people who had tested positive or were close contacts would be provided consular assistance.
“People need to know where to go for treatment. If they don’t have a doctor, if they have come from somewhere where there is a crisis in the hospital system, we’ll do what we can to try and assist,” he said.