The government has revealed at least 54 Australians died from Covid-19 while overseas during the pandemic, including some who tragically begged for help to come home.
The revelations included the sad detail that three of the 54, who were in 27 different countries when they died from the virus, were stranded and had registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade seeking help returning home.
The shocking numbers, which were current at May 19, mean Australia’s total death toll from Covid-19 is nearing 1000, with 934 fatalities recorded on home soil.
The government revealed at least 54 Australians died from Covid-19 while overseas during the pandemic, including some who tragically begged for help to come home
Countries were 54 Australians have died from Covid-19
Papua New Guinea
United Arab Emirates
United States of America
The new figures came from an official information request submitted by the ABC.
The expat fatalities were spread across every continent, in nations including popular travel destinations for Aussies including United Kingdom, United States, France, Thailand, the Netherlands and India.
Several other countries with a history of immigration here were on the list including Lebanon, Greece, Philippines, Turkey, Croatia and Indonesia.
Some of the Aussies who died were in third world nations struggling to cope with the pandemic including Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Egypt.
It is not known how many Australian Covid fatalities happened in each country.
‘I think that really does show … the importance of the government doing all that it can to bring Australians home,’ citizenship expert Kim Rubenstein told the ABC.
Caps on hotel quarantine and expensive flights have hampered expats abilities to come home.
Since the Delta variant became a huge issue, hotel quarantine numbers in Australia were halved to 3000 in an attempt to slow the spread.
‘Since mid-November, we’ve had a leak in hotel quarantine every nine days on average,’ epidemiologist Mike Toole said.
He said hotel ventilation, staff numbers and training and the wearing of masks needs to improve to reduce hotel quarantine leaks.
Over 38,000 Australians are currently registered with DFAT as seeking assistance to return home.
DFAT has helped nearly 24,000 expats come home on 158 flights during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Aussies who live abroad will soon have to apply for an exemption to leave Australia after visiting.
Citizens and permanent residents have been banned from going overseas since March 2020 but people who don’t normally live here can depart without permission.
That will change on August 11 when updated rules require them to apply for an exemption.
The government wants to stop Australians leaving the country during the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of people who many need to use the hotel quarantine system in future.
India, where many Australians have family and visit for tourism, was on the list of 27 nations where Australian expats died from Covid. Other nations in the the US, the UK, Thailand, Greece and Lebanon