Indian-Australians cut off from loved ones by a flight ban with the subcontinent have told Daily Mail Australia they support the border closure to keep the country safe from Covid-19.
Direct commercial flights from India were banned by Scott Morrison last week as the nation of 1.4 billion battles a surge in illnesses and death, with 355,832 fresh cases on Monday alone.
The government also took the 'extraordinary' step of threatening anyone who gets around the ban with a fine of up to $66,000 and five years in jail under the Biosecurity Act.
Opponents have called the move 'horrific and racist' and accused the government of abandoning 9,000 Australian citizens and residents by suspending rescue flights until May 15.
Among those stranded in the Covid-ravaged nation are some of Australia's best cricketers including Steve Smith, Dave Warner, Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis, who were playing in the lucrative IPL until the tournament was cancelled on Tuesday.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
But many Indian-Australians are pleased with the uncompromising stance to keep the nation safe from the lethal virus, which has caused 3.2 million deaths and infected 153 million people around the world.
Migration consultant Alexandra Forwood (left), 35, and her partner Ashish Dube (right), 34, applauded the border closure
Commerce and law student Rishab Jain (left), from Ryde in north-west Sydney, said the ban was not racist but medically necessary. He is pictured with his mother Geetika and father Rajesh
Commerce and law student Rishab Jain, from Ryde in north-west Sydney, said the ban was not racist but medically necessary.
'I believe the relative risk of allowing 9,000 people to enter the country from India is too high,' he told Daily Mail Australia on the steps of the Murugan Hindu temple in Mays Hill, western Sydney.
'It's not about racism, it's because India has the most cases in the world at the moment.
'The situation warrants the measures that the government has implemented.'
Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
IT consultant Sanadu Basu (left with her partner Abrah), 31, said she supported the ban even though her parents were in India
SHOULD AUSTRALIA HAVE BANNED FLIGHTS FROM INDIA?Yes - it'll keep us safe 0 votes No - it's racist 0 votes
Now share your opinion
His 59-year-old father Rajesh, who migrated to Australia two decades ago and now runs a wholesale business, also supported the ban.
'I think it's a good move and it's designed to keep everyone here safe,' he said.
Migration consultant Alexandra Forwood, 35, and her partner Ashish Dube, 34, applauded the border closure.
'I think it's necessary because as a migration consultant I know of many people who got permanent residency but returned to India and are now trying to migrate back because we have such low levels of Covid,' Ms Forwood said.
'Many of them think ''oh sh*t it's better to be in Australia'' so they try to get on a flight over here.
'I don't have any sympathy. They shouldn't have gone in the first place and they should stop blaming the government.'
Kamala Raj (centre) and Savithiri Doraiswamy (right) supported the ban, saying 'we're safe here so let's keep it that way'
Mr Dube said that he supported a temporary ban but hoped he would eventually be able to visit his parents in India when it's safe enough.
'I'm in favour of a temporary ban if it's to stop us having cases here. A relative of mine died of Covid aged just 20 - the situation is really bad there,' he said.
'But I do worry about people's mental health if they can't see their families.
'There was a petition to allow parents to be considered close family members for the purposes of travel exemptions into Australia and I support that,' he said.
Australia’s superstar cricketers face an uncertain future in India as even more were forced into isolation on Tuesday after a third IPL player tested positive for the virus.
The IPL promptly announced the immediate indefinite suspension of the big-money tournament featuring many of the world's best players, acknowledging that if the seven-week competition were to continue it may put 'lives at stake'.
Organisers released a statement saying the IPL would work with player's home nations to get them home safely, but Australia has a total ban on flights from the nation and has even threatened citizens with five years in prison if they return.
Pat Cummins (pictured with his partner Becky Boston) is in isolation after two of his teammates in India tested positive to Covid-19
Pat Cummins is already in isolation after teammates tested positive to Covid-19 (pictured