Morrison’s $2,000 travel ban ad debuts…and flops, as his targeted approach, hails more backlash and racist accusations.
The prime minister released three sponsored videos, two with subtitles in Hindi and Punjabi, directly addressing those of the Australian-Indian community. The videos feature Morrison, explaining the travel ban. However, some view it as damage control for the next election.
The travel policy, prohibiting anyone travelling from India into Australia, has seen 9,000 Australians displaced, and has landed the electoral party in hot water.
The ban was initiated based on medical advice due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in India.
However, due to heavy backlash and racism accusations, the temporary travel pause will not extend beyond 15 May, where repatriation flights for stranded Australians will resume, regardless of the COVID situation in India.
Breaking: PM confirms ban on Australians from returning home from India will lift on May 15 – but not before
900 listed as vulnerable, will be prioritised
ONLY 3 repatriation flights in the next 2 weeks scheduled
Covid test required for anyone getting on flight
— Laura Jayes (@ljayes) May 6, 2021
Founder of ‘4 Turbans’, Amar Singh, says that the Indian government provides its citizens with limited information, creating more strain and frustration in an already stressful situation. Singh went on to mention that discussion within the online Australian-Indian community revolved around a lack of future support for the Liberal party, “we are not going to vote Liberal next time…That’s not me, that’s not them.”
It appears that, in a bid to save his reputation and relations, Morrison is reaching out to India’s Prime Minister to offer help:
PM Scott Morrison says he’ll be speaking with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi later today about “further assistance” for India
— Rashida Yosufzai (@Rashidajourno) May 7, 2021
The situation in India is dire, to say the least. The lack of available resources, including ICU beds and stretchers, has seen citizens turn to using trees from parks to burn the bodies of the deceased. Additionally, oxygen is being sold on the black market to keep the critically ill alive, and supplies are being hoarded, creating immense panic and shortages in hospitals (Mirror, 2021).
The general dissatisfaction with how the Morrison government is handling the covid crisis is apparent:
— Dee Madigan (@deemadigan) May 6, 2021
Australia is quite good at constructing large centres where we lock up people we don’t want.
Surely we can accomodate Australian citizens there for 14 days. #Qanda
— Julian Burnside (@JulianBurnside) May 6, 2021
Perhaps, instead of spending money on Facebook ads, the prime minister could invest that money into building quarantine centres for recovering covid patients. I don’t know… just a thought?