Bengaluru FC's Erik Paartalu condemns Australian government's ban on flights from India
With Australia banning flights arriving from India till mid-May, Bengaluru FC midfielder Erik Paartalu has become the latest to criticize this decision.
The Australian government, on Tuesday, suspended flights arriving from India to any of its cities for a period of two weeks owing to the serious escalation of Covid-19 cases in India. While that is the latest in a long list of difficult decisions that have been taken to keep the virus out of the island nation, it has also meant that as many as 9,000 Australian nationals are now stuck in India and have no way to return home.
Strict control and quarantine measures in the country have seen Australia record near zero infection rates in the past few months, so much so that even sporting events have now been opened to the public. However, the decision to ban incoming flights from India have not been received well by the Aussie media as well as normal citizens. And now, Bengaluru FC midfielder Erik Paartalu, who has been associated with the Indian Super League (ISL) outfit for over four seasons, has also taken to Twitter to show his displeasure with the seemingly drastic step.
Recently, even the Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen a number of Australian cricketers depart India so as to be with their loved ones in this time of crisis. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa and fast-bowler Andrew Tye even expressed their surprise at the fact that the IPL is going on even as thousands of people struggle to get hospital beds. Zampa also highlighted the mental aspect of the situation and cited his own anxiety as one of the outcomes of the Covid scare.
However, although they were lucky to reach home in time, others like them will now have to bide their time as India prepares its biggest battle against Covid so far with nothing much apart from vaccination as the major weapon. It remains to be seen if the flight ban is extended beyond the two-week period and if any specific step is taken to allow those stranded here to go back home.