U.S. tells citizens to leave India as Covid-19 overwhelms hospitals

The restrictions come into effect from May 3 and breaching the ban risks civil penalties and up to five years imprisonment Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement

Australian residents and citizens who have been in India within 14 days of the date they plan to return home will be banned from entering Australia as of Monday and those who disobey will face fines and jail, government officials said.

"The Government does not make these decisions lightly", Mr Hunt said.

Failing to comply with the temporary pause may result in a fine of $66,600 or five years' imprisonment, or both, Mr Hunt said. Not just the 14 cricketers including the likes of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis but also the likes of Ricky Ponting, Damien Wright, David Hussey and Brett Lee, who are part of the support staff of their respective sides or commentary panel with the host broadcaster.

On Tuesday, Australia had banned all direct flights from India till May 15 amid the second wave of coronavirus.

On Thursday 3,498 people died in India from Covid-19, at the end of a horror week where daily deaths averaged over 3,000.

The decision was based on the proportion of overseas travellers in quarantine in Australia, who have contracted the infection in India, according to Health Minister Greg hunt.

However, the ministry will review the restrictions on May 15 again.

"The government should be looking for ways to safely quarantine Australians returning from India, instead of focusing their efforts on prison sentences and harsh punishments".

But the news media is in a crisis of its own.

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People arriving in Australia from coronavirus-ravaged India could face five years jail as the country strengthens an earlier travel ban, the government announced Saturday, in a bid to prevent the outbreak from spreading to its shores.

Mr Hunt said the leaders resolved to restart repatriation flights from India when it was safe.

Some Australians, including cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, took advantage of a loophole to return from India via Doha earlier this week.

A wreath lies on the coffin of a Covid-19 victim prior to cremation in Jammu, northern India.

The worsening Covid-19 crisis in India has spiralled in recent weeks.

At that rate the country could see more than 30,000 deaths from coronavirus a day within a few weeks, but the country's poor record keeping means the true toll may never be known.

"The friends and family of those in Australia are in extreme risk".

The country reported zero new cases of community transmission on Tuesday.

Australia is sending over ventilators, a "significant" supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and oxygen concentrators.

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