India is going through an unprecedented Health crisis with the second wave of the COVID 19 virus affecting millions. As Indian Government and agencies are dealing with this crisis to provide immediate relief. At the same time many countries have commenced supporting such relief measures.
Australia has begun process to provide a relief to India consisting of 500 non-invasive ventilators with the scope to go up to 3000, personal protective equipment, 1 million surgical masks 500,000 p-two and 95 masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves, 20,000 face shields, 100 oxygen concentrators with tanks and consumables.
Australia is suspending flights from India as a temporary measure to prevent further spread of the virus.
In Australia it is a different picture. Thanks to the measures taken by Federal and State Governments in Australia such as contact tracing, quarantine and medical support, Australia is on the road to recovery.
Australia India Business Council (AIBC) organized a live webinar session on “Post pandemic recovery plans of Federal government and Insight of Home Affairs during Pandemic” with Hon Peter Dutton MP – Minister for Defence, on April 28th, 2020. This session was moderated by Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair.
Hon Peter Dutton MP’s speech elaborated on the active measures Australia has been taking for the country, and to help India overcome this battle. Hon Peter Dutton MP stated Australia has been relying on a headstrong quarantine strategy within the country to reduce the number of cases. The country witnessed the defence personnel divide themselves amongst various departments and activities to monitor and control the spread of the virus over the past 15 months. Australia now seeks to extend their resources and help India meet the medical demands with the increase in the case graph.
“By January 2020, we saw about 1.3 million people having lost their jobs, or stood down to zero hours, and by April 2020, we saw 94% of those people back at work, and that is quite a remarkable outcome. We want to make sure that in the budget this year, we provide support to, again, small businesses, and the focus of the budget will very much be on jobs and on service delivery. And there is an incredibly significant stage of support, to continue support around aged care. And we have had a particular look at the way in which we can, we can show support to different models of aged care, particularly those that are delivering a service to a diasporic community and the different needs around different languages,” said Hon Peter Dutton MP while discussing the Federal Government strategy this year.
When asked about the relief measures Australia seeks to extend to India, Hon Peter Dutton MP stated that Australia currently has begun process to provide a relief to India. Ongoing discussions and strategies are still taking place to help small business and Indian employees that have been affected within the Australian region.
Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair acknowledging the Federal government programs and initiatives regarding the pandemic and thanking the Hon Peter Dutton MP for his support said “one of the things one of the initiatives AIBC is taking is working with our counterparts in India, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Indian Australian Chamber of Commerce. What we would like to do from business-to-business relationships is during this incredibly challenging time, keep those business relationships going and trade and investment.”
Mr Vasan Srinivasan – Patron of AIBC Victoria Chapter said “I know as a friend, you aree always available for the benefit of my Indian community in Australia. You never let me down so far minister data, and you always protect Australia and Australians, for our safety and health. Thank you so much and looking forward to working with you in relation to AIBC activities.”
Mrs Ravneet Pawha – President of AIBC Victoria Chapter said “I want to thank the Australian Government, personally and professionally for all the support that is being extended to India and people that are currently in this difficult situation. I wish to suggest collaboration for education and research in defence with India with educational institutions such as Deakin University.’
Hon Peter Dutton MP welcomed this idea and said” there’s an enormous amount of collaboration, as you would expect with research institutes, the science and technology aspect of defence is quite a remarkable undertaking. And that is done in collaboration with several institutions. And some of that work, obviously, is publicly acknowledged other elements of it not. But I think there is an enormous opportunity to form those collaborations through the quad with institutions in India and identifying the requisite skills or the capacity within.”
There was a lively interactive Q&A session moderated by Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair addressing defence supply chain, visas for talented people and logistical support to India COVID 19 measures.
Hon Peter Dutton MP concluded his speech on a positive note that hopes to foster and strengthen the relationship between Australia and India. Upon the settlement of the pandemic, the countries hope to work on further building their ties and strategizing for future challenges, in order to be better prepared and emerge stronger.
The lively session with Hon Peter Dutton MP ended with a vote of thanks by Mr Jim Varghese AM – AIBC National Chair.