The second repatriation flight from India has landed in Darwin with 165 Australians on board.
The flight left New Delhi late on Saturday and was the second such government-facilitated flight since the ban on arrivals from India was lifted.
The first was marred by a huge number of positive COVID-19 results, leaving just 80 of the 150 seats filled.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is prioritising passengers who were barred from boarding the previous flight due to a positive test for future flights.
'DFAT is prioritising passengers who were unable to board due to a positive test result, for future flights from India, following a period of isolation.'https://t.co/baSQ81LV0V
— Margaret Hollingdale (@MargaretHollin1) May 22, 2021
All passengers who were unable to board last week’s plan had been contacted to arrange their return flight, a DFAT spokesperson said.
Eight flights are scheduled by June 4, with NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland volunteering to take returning Australians.
Vulnerable Australians would be prioritised for those flights, the spokesperson said.
Of the 11,200 Australians in India registered with the government as wanting to return, about 1000 are considered vulnerable.
Meanwhile, Australia has administered more than 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with a further 89,000 jabs delivered around the country.
Record number of jabs
NSW rolled out 12,485 doses in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, another one-day record for the state. Some 5000 were administered at its Olympic Park mass vaccination hub alone.
Australia has only about 100 active cases of the virus, 50 of them in NSW. Five were added to the count on Saturday, all in hotel quarantine.
While Victoria recorded another ‘donut day’, state health minister Martin Foley is blaming a mix-up over recent exposure sites on supermarket receipts listing the wrong location.
The health department said a fortnight ago Victoria’s most recent case had shopped at Woolworths in Epping, when he had actually been at a nearby supermarket in Epping North.
Opposition health spokesman Georgie Crozier says contact tracing teams are not getting the basics right.
“It just demonstrates again the confusion, the chaos, and the incompetence of the government in managing the COVID pandemic,” she said on Saturday.
Victorian health authorities are now concerned they may be active undiagnosed cases in the area after virus traces were picked up in wastewater on Thursday.
Seven Victorian businesses have also been fined thousands of dollars for not following compliance regulations.
Inspectors have this month checked more than 2200 businesses, with about a third found not up to scratch. The penalties ranged from $1650 to almost $10,000.