Australia has banned people from India, including its citizens, from entering the country, and violating the ban will result in severe fines and imprisonment.
According to Reuters, these emergency orders will take effect from Monday and anyone who has been in India for the past 14 days will face heavy fines and jail if they enter Australia from Monday.
Violations of the ban have been declared a serious crime in Australia for the first time, given the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the heart.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement that the ban would take effect on May 3, and violators could face up to five years in prison.
He said the decision was not easy for the government but was necessary to limit the health of the Australian people and the quarantine system and the number of cases.
The death toll from the coronavirus in India has crossed 200,000 and today after the first 400,000 cases were reported, the number of people infected with the virus in the country has risen to more than 19 million.
Surgeon Neela Janaki Ramanan, who works as a surgeon in Australia, is unhappy with the decision and has called the Australian government’s move inappropriate.
“Indians and Australians will see this as a racist policy because we are being treated differently from people from other countries because people from the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries are also being treated differently,” he said. They are suffering from similar infections and it is very unfortunate if a racist attitude is adopted in such a time.
However, a health ministry spokesman dismissed the notion that banning immigrants from India was a biased move.
He said it was a difficult decision but would apply to all people, regardless of religion, race or creed.
Human rights groups are also opposed to the ban, saying the Australian government should focus on improving the quarantine system rather than imposing sanctions and punishments, said Ellen Pearson, director of Human Rights Watch Australia. Very provocative and Australian right to return home.
He said the government should make arrangements for the safe quarantine of returnees from India instead of imposing fines or imprisoning them.
Australia has not recently reported any cases of local virus transmission, but on Tuesday it announced a temporary suspension of flights from India until mid-May.
More than 9,000 Australians, including several Australian cricketers, have been stranded in India as a result of the Australian government’s move.
Australia managed to get rid of the coronavirus from Sabah to a large extent thanks to tough measures last March.
Australia closed its border in March last year, reporting only 29,800 cases of the virus and killing 910 people.