Monday, May 31, 2021

Next India repatriation flight lands in Darwin as Howard Springs exceeds 1,000 in quarantine

A Qantas plane evacuating Australians from India has touched down in Darwin — the third to arrive in the Top End capital since repatriation flights from the COVID-ravaged country resumed a fortnight ago.

Flight QF112 from New Delhi landed at Darwin airport at around 9:45am local time carrying 150 people

The passengers will soon be transported by bus to the Howard Springs quarantine facility, about 20 kilometres south-east of the airport.

Around 80 passengers who arrived in Darwin from India on May 15, on the first flight after the temporary suspension, completed their two-week quarantine period on Saturday.

Another 165 who arrived on a May 23 flight are still at the facility, along with almost 1,000 other international and domestic arrivals.

NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles  said she did not know whether any passengers who were meant to be on today’s flight had tested positive to COVID-19 prior to departure.

About 70 passengers scheduled to board the May 15 flight were bumped off it after either testing positive to COVID-19 or being close contacts of those who did.

Following the introduction of the more rigorous testing regime, only two passengers have tested positive to COVID-19 after arriving in Darwin.

“The measures that DFAT put in place prior to departure clearly have worked when you compare that to the flight before when we had over 50 people (test positive)," Ms Fyles said.

“So, we will continue to evaluate what was done and how we see those numbers coming through.”

Ms Fyles said more international repatriation flights were expected to arrive in Darwin this week.

“[International arrivals] will be kept very separate from those domestic quarantine people," she said.

31/05/21 Jano Gibson/

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