Former Australian cricketer and cricket commentator Michael Slater has slammed the Australian government; especially Prime Minister Scott Morrison over their decision to ban travelers from COVID-19 hit India from entering Australia until May 15, 2021.
In a view of the growing Coronavirus cases in India, Australia has shut its borders and are not even allowing any commercial flights from the country and it will be in place till May 15. India's tally of COVID-19 infections is around 20 million with near 4 lakh new cases reporting every day for the last 12 days.
With around 9,000 Australians believed to be in India, Australian residents and citizens are banned from entering the country until May 15 by the Morrison government and threatened to jail the violators trying to somehow make their way back from COVID-19-wracked India – including Australian citizens.
The decision has received a lot of backlashes, and Slater – who was also commenting in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) wherein a lot of former cricketers and current players playing – had labeled Morrison's decision as a “disgrace”, saying he has blood on his hands.
Slater wrote on Twitter: “If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It's a disgrace!! Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out the quarantine system. I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.”
Reacting to Slater’s comment, Morrison has defended the ban by saying: “No, that’s obviously absurd” and the idea he had blood on his hands was “absurd”.
The Aussie PM told the Nine Network: “This is about getting more people home safely, preventing the third wave here in Australia. I think the likelihood of any of that occurring is pretty much zero. The buck stops here when it comes to these decisions, and I'm going to take decisions that I believe are going to protect Australia from a third wave. I'm working to bring them home safely.”
He added, “There have been a lot of difficult decisions during Covid and people will criticize me and my government for it... I'm not going to fail Australia. I'm going to protect our borders at this time.”
Noteworthy, Australia has been mostly successful in avoiding the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic through a blanket ban on travel to-and-from the country unless an exemption is secured.
(With AFP Inputs)