Australian nurse is stranded in India after making a mercy dash to the country to see her dying father – as opposition leader slams the idea of jail terms for returning travellers
- Nurse who worked in hospitals through Melbourne’s pandemic is stuck in India
- Nausheen Khatoon returned to India to say goodbye to her dying father
- Mother-of-three is stranded and faces jail time if she attempts to return home
A nurse who worked through the coronavirus pandemic in Melbourne hospitals is now stranded in India unable to return after flying to the country to say goodbye to her dying father.
Nausheen Khatoon moved to Australia more than 20 years ago but has now been told by the government she cannot return or risks jail time.
‘I fear if I fall sick now, I won’t be able to reach a doctor or get proper medical help in India now,’ Ms Khatoon told Nine.
Ms Khatoon flew to India to say goodbye to her dying father (pictured)
Ms Khatoon fears if she gets sick she won’t have access to the necessary medical care and will prolong her time away from her children in Australia
The mother-of-three was allowed to leave Australia on compassionate grounds to be with her passed before he died.
‘I got four days to spend with him,’ she told Nine. ‘The last few days, I was there at his bedside holding his hand.’
But the government’s snap announcement to suspend all incoming flights from India until May 15 left her stranded and unsafe in a country experiencing more than 370,000 new cases per day and nearly 4,000 deaths.
Ms Khatoon feels she’s being punished despite working tireless hours through Melbourne’s prolonged coronavirus crisis in Covid facilities.
‘The news, the statements given by the Prime Minister, everything contradicted my statement explaining how great my country Australia is,’ she said.
The mother-of-three worked through the pandemic in Melbourne’s hospitals and coronavirus facilities
India is currently experiencing more than 370,000 new cases per day and nearly 4,000 deaths
The mother faces fines of up to $66,000 and even jail time if she attempts to fly back to Australia before the May 15 cut-off date, which could be extended.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese slammed the Morrison government’s handling of the situation, describing it ‘extraordinary’ Ms Khatoon would face jail time for trying to return home.
‘Australia has obligations to our citizens, to people who are Australians, not just to abandon them overseas, but then to threaten them is quite extraordinary action,’ he said.
‘The government’s got to justify how it is that the figures from India are similar to what they’ve been in the past from the UK and the US, but we haven’t seen these sort of measures.’