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  • Australian solar industry pioneer and businessman has died from coronavirus in India

    Author: AAP

A second Australian has died from coronavirus in India: solar industry pioneer and businessman Govind Kant.

Businessman Govind Kant has become the second Australian to die from COVID-19 in India.

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The solar energy pioneer died on May 16 at a hospital in Delhi after contracting the virus at the end of April.

He had returned to India for family reasons earlier in the month.

"Our deepest condolences go to his wife, two daughters and other family members," his employer said in a statement on Tuesday.


Chief Executive Officer
Alexandra District Health
Clinical Nurse Manager
Frontline Health Auckland
Registered Nurse - Aged Care
Bentleys Queensland

"This is a significant loss to Trina Solar and mere words cannot express the heartfelt sorrow we all feel upon Govind's passing.

"We will provide necessary assistance to his family in this mourn period and we pray his soul may rest in peace."

It followed the death in India of an Australian permanent resident earlier in the month.

Meanwhile, a review of pre-flight test results for the first post-pause India repatriation flight has validated the results given to passengers.

More than 40 people who tested positive pre-flight along with about 30 of their close contacts were barred from boarding on Saturday.

But concerns were raised that some passengers were kicked off the flight due to false positive tests.

Qantas said all of the positive results were re-run over the weekend under additional medical supervision, and the outcomes were the same.

This included some weak positives that may have been interpreted as negative by other laboratories.

The passengers who tested negative and ultimately flew on the repatriation flight were also given a rapid antigen test prior to boarding, and tested again by NT Health at Howard Springs.

Both sets of tests validated the original results, with only one additional passenger testing positive at Howard Springs, suggesting they contracted COVID prior to leaving India but had not yet developed an infection.

"Considering all of these data points, Qantas and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade do not believe that any passengers booked on this flight were denied boarding in error," the airline said.

Despite the tests passing subsequent checks, a different lab will be used for future pre-flight testing to ensure confidence in the system.

Qantas chief medical officer Ian Hosegood said the airline had been working hard to design a system to keep staff, passengers and the Australian public safe.

"Managing a COVID testing regime in India at the moment is inherently difficult but these results have been checked again and we're confident they are right," he said.

The next repatriation flight is due later this week.

The Australian Medical Association said the temporary ban on arrivals from India showed the limitations of the quarantine system.

"(A flawed system) makes it more difficult to repatriate Australians from overseas and leaves Australia ill-equipped to relax border restrictions as the world looks to gradually open up and international travel is increasingly encouraged," the organisation said.

The AMA has urged national cabinet to consider the issue of long-term quarantine facilities.


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