Direct flights from India paused until May 15

Australia is pausing all direct flights from India for the next three weeks as that country grapples with an overwhelming wave of COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the pause on arrivals would be reassessed before May 15. It’s expected to affect direct flights into Sydney and two repatriation flights scheduled to arrive in Darwin.

The federal government is stopping flights arriving from India because of concerns about the new wave of COVID-19 cases.Credit:Getty Images

There are about 9000 Australians in India who are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as wanting to return home.

Cabinet’s national security committee met on Tuesday morning to consider the move to temporarily restrict flights from India along with what equipment and assistance could be sent.

Infections in India over the past week have surged to the highest level of any country in a seven-day period, adding 2.2 million cases, double the number of cases in the United States during its January peak.

The country added 352,991 cases alone on Monday, with 2812 deaths, but there are fears the death toll could be much higher with limited data being kept at mass outdoor crematoriums.

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