WA to quarantine first group of Afghanistan evacuees

By Melissa Coade

August 20, 2021

The first group of people the ADF extracted from Kabul airport quarantine for 14 days in Perth.
The first group of people the ADF extracted from Kabul airport quarantine for 14 days in Perth. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

On Thursday the Australian government announced that the first group of people the ADF has been able to extract from Kabul airport will quarantine for 14 days in Perth.

The first 94 evacuees arrived in Western Australia overnight. On Thursday afternoon prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed they would be departing the temporary Australian base established in Al Minhad in the UAE to head home. 

“My government is working closely with the Western Australian Government to ensure the evacuees receive the medical and mental health support they need when they arrive.

“We will work together to support our people with whatever they need,” Morrison said. 

WA has agreed to accept the returnees on top of its weekly quarantine arrivals cap of 265 people.

The PM added he was in discussions with other states about what they could do to accommodate additional evacuees escaping the crisis in Afghanistan.

Providing an update on the ‘extremely dangerous and complex’ situation in Afghanistan from Canberra, Morrison said evacuations were likely to continue into next week. 

We are moving urgently, safely, because we’re taking nothing for granted. The weather is closing in and that’s going to present some challenges over the next few days, but, equally, the situation can always turn, and so we’re moving as quickly as we possibly can.”

In the 24 hours preceding Thursday afternoon, the pm said Australia had entered arrangements with the UK that allowed for 76 more Australians and Australian visa holders to be extracted from Kabul airport. Australia’s first evacuation flight managed to get 26 individuals out of Afghanistan and safely to the UAE.

As you can imagine, people who we’re taking out of Kabul, we’re taking out of a very dangerous set of circumstances and we’re making sure that any injuries they have are being attended to and, but you can also imagine there’s quite a bit of trauma and, and quite a, they’re in a highly anxious state,” he said. 

Morrison also confirmed that an additional 40 ADF personnel were successfully deployed into Kabul on Wednesday. 

With a limit on the number of aircraft that can depart Kabul airport at any one time, he added that evacuation teams had small windows of opportunity to get in and out.

I want to thank the ADF for the way that they’re moving swiftly to achieve that outcome,” he said. 

Australia’s first evacuees landed in Perth at 1.30am Friday morning following a flight that lasted approximately 10 and a half hours. 


READ MORE:

Many Afghans fear for their lives as Taliban fighters take Kabul

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