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Brother of Aussie who died from COVID-19 in India ‘devastated’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Sanjay Khanna said his family has been “totally devastated” after his brother and mother passed away within 24 hours of each other after contracting COVID-19.

The brother of a Sydney man who died from coronavirus while caring for his sick parents in India has made a desperate plea to the Australian government to bring his elderly father home.

Speaking to Today, Sanjay Khanna said his family has been "totally devastated" after his brother and mother died within 24 hours of each other after contracting COVID-19.

"Within four days my life has been turned upside down, first my brother and then my mother 24 hours later," he said.

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Mr Khanna's brother, Sunil Khanna, is the third known Australian to die of COVID-19 in India's devastating second wave.

The 51-year-old, from Sydney's west, was in New Delhi when he and his parents all tested positive to the virus on April 25.

"I tried to convince him to come back but he was waiting for the exemption for commercial flights to resume ... then the pandemic hit us hard," Sanjay Khanna said.

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"My dad has just now recovered. He is alone.

"He is my last surviving member in the family.

"I'm just making a plea through your media to help me to get my father home before it's too late for him.

"He is an 83-year-old man alone by himself with nobody else to help him there."

Mr Khanna is now begging the Australian government to consider a travel exemption for his father on a "humanitarian basis".

"I understand you want to keep Australia safe and I'm really happy I'm in a country where our government has kept all its citizens safe and we want to follow all the protocols," he said.

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"My only request to the government is please consider on a humanitarian basis, please grant him a visa here to come and live with me.

"That's my only humble request."

Under new restrictions, no Indian citizens are allowed to travel to Australia.

Repatriation flights for Australian citizens in India resumed on May 15 after a suspension.

Despite a slight drop in daily case numbers, India's death toll has skyrocketed to over 280,000 as the pandemic continues to ravage the country.

Source: 9News

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