About 900 Australians stuck in COVID-hit India and wanting to return now listed as 'vulnerable', High Commissioner says
There has been a sharp increase in the number of Australians stranded in India who are suffering financial distress or health problems.
Around 9,000 Australians stuck in India have registered with the federal government to say they wish to return home.
The government has also been facing rising anger from some Indian Australian community groups after pausing flights from India until May 15 and then subsequently announcing a travel ban with penalties including five years in jail and fines of up to $66,000.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has played down the chances of anyone being hit with those penalties and has signalled that flights are likely to resume in mid-May.
But Australians stranded in India remain deeply anxious about when they will be able to get home, as the country's COVID catastrophe continues to rage.
Australia's High Commissioner to India, Barry O'Farrell, told the ABC the number of Australians classified as "vulnerable" by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had shot up in the past week.
"Disturbingly, over the last week the number of people classified as vulnerable has …
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