At least 173 unaccompanied minors are among more than 900 vulnerable Australian citizens trapped in India by their government’s ban on arrivals from the country, authorities said.
“In our database we have 173 clients registered as under 18 in India outside a family group, that is they are on their own and are seeking to return to Australia,” Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official Lynette Wood told a Senate inquiry Friday.
The Australian government currently bars anyone from entering Australia if they have been in India over the past 14 days.
The ban came into effect on May 3 and will last until May 15.
The Australian government has said it will facilitate at least three flights to repatriate Australians in India between May 15 and 31.
Vulnerable Australians will be prioritized for those flights, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.
There are at least 9,000 Australian citizens in India who registered with the government that they would like to return home.