Australians who were meant to be onboard the Qantas repatriation flight from India to Darwin but were kicked off at thehave expressed their horror and confusion over being forced to stay. out of India, departing New Delhi just after midnight AEST on Saturday, and touched down ahead of schedule at 9.12 am at Darwin in the Northern Territory.
But nearly half of the 150 Australians booked on the flight could not board due to their. Northern Territory confirmed 48 had returned a positive impact, while another 24 people had been deemed close contacts – meaning 72 Aussies booked to fly home could no longer pass. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne the plane was not at total capacity as “there were before they came”.
Those left behind, including ABC’s South Asia correspondent James Oaten, say they are “bewildered at what has happened”. “They have been taking lots of precautions before this flight, they’ve been isolating, some had negative tests done just before they were put in pre-flight , and some have since got negative tests after,” Mr. Oaten told the ABC.
“This includes me; I was meant to be on that flight, and Iquarantine”. Mr. Oaten revealed his test result indicated “a low viral load,” but a follow-up test returned a negative result just last night. He has since negative.
In a piece for 7.30 on Monday night, he said seeing the speed of thein Delhi “has been nothing short of terrifying”. He said “triumphalism got in the way of clear-headed concern” as the for good, “and in just a few weeks, it went so horrifically wrong”.
Mr. Oaten is not alone. “There’s a lot of anxiety and insecurity,” Katie Bhagat, an, told him. “I think [Qantas] should look at the lab they’re using and decide if that’s the best one. “I think they need to investigate claims of that have gone and gotten negative tests a couple of days later.”
One of thewas that passengers needed to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they were cleared to fly. Further are then conducted daily before boarding. “The new testing system in place is proving to be effective. However, our thoughts are with those here in Australia, unable to return to Australia due to the devastating third wave in India,” a Northern Territory Health spokesperson said.
On Monday, it was revealed that an Australian citizen who returned to the country from India on board the flight also tested. The Northern Territory’s acting , Dr. Charles Pain, defended leaving Australians behind, saying necessarily.
“When you’re in such dire straits and wishing to get to Australia, to a haven, it’s so disappointing, but we have to hold firm on the position that we can’t putthat are positive,” he said. He revealed that the Howard Springs facility, where the passengers are quarantining, can only manage 50 positive cases simultaneously. Further testing of passengers at the facility is underway after the recent positive case.
On Sunday, Qantas said it is looking into whether a laboratory thatmonth. India’s National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories website shows New Delhi-based CRL Diagnostics was arrested on April 6.
According to ABC, the laboratory was used to lab for the pre-departure test. “We have reiterated to our diagnostic agency that they must ensure that any laboratory they use has all current and appropriate accreditations,” a spokeswoman said on Sunday.“vulnerable” Australians who had been in pre-flight hotel quarantine, detecting 46 positive cases and an additional 24 close contacts. Qantas is now reviewing whether the diagnostic agency used the