Sydney: The Australian prime minister pushed back against the charges of racism and bloodstained hands on Tuesday, as he backed down on his threat to jail Australians trying to escape from the Covid-torn India.
Scott Morrison (Pixel) The government moved to ban travelers from India from entering Australia until May 15, threatening those who break the rules – including Australian citizens – with imprisonment.
Amid a widespread backlash, Morrison said Tuesday it was “extremely unlikely” that Australians who avoided the ban would be imprisoned.
“I think the probability of any of this happening is pretty much zero,” Morrison said in a media address during breakfast time on Tuesday.
About 9,000 Australians are believed to be in India, where hundreds of thousands of new coronavirus cases are discovered every day and the death toll is increasing.
Among those trapped are some of the most prominent Australian sports stars – the cricketers who play in the lucrative Indian Premier League.
Commentator and cricket star, Michael Slater, was among those who mocked Morrison’s decision as a “disgrace”.
“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us this way” chirp. “If our government takes care of the safety of Australians, it will allow us to return home.”
Morrison said the idea of blood on his hands was “ridiculous”.
“There were a lot of hard decisions during Covid and people and my government will criticize me for that,” he said. nine the television.
“I will not fail Australia. I will protect our borders at this time,” he said.
The decision went into effect on Monday and was denounced by rights groups and some of Morrison’s most prominent allies Sky News Commentator Andrew Bolt who said it “emanates from racism”.
Australia has largely avoided the worst of the pandemic, through some of the world’s most stringent border controls.
There is a blanket ban on travel to and from the country unless an exemption is secured.
Non-residents are mostly denied entry and anyone who comes to the country must undergo a mandatory hotel quarantine for a period of 14 days.
But this system came under increasing pressure as the virus jumped out of quarantine facilities and triggered a series of outbreaks in the largely unvaccinated community.
The Conservative Prime Minister faces re-election in the next 12 months and has been hoping that Australia’s relatively successful handling of the pandemic will propel him to victory.
But the travel ban in India and the launch of a vaccine against glaciers have drawn criticism.
Australia gave 2.2 million doses of the vaccine out of 25 million people, each of whom needed two doses to be fully immunized. – France Press agency