Father of two Govind Kant becomes second Australian to die of COVID-19 in India
Govind Kant has become the second Australian to die of coronavirus in India.
The solar industry worker travelled to the South Asian country at the end of April for family reasons but contracted the virus and died two days ago.
His death was detailed in a Facebook post this morning by the company he worked for, Solar Juice Pty Ltd.
“It is with immense sadness that Trina Solar has to announce that our beloved colleague and friend Mr Govind Kant, Trina Solar Australia Country Manager, passed away on May 16th, 2021 at Delhi hospital in India after contracting COVID-19 at the end of April, having returned to India for family reasons earlier in the month,” the post reads.
“Our deepest condolences go to his wife, two daughters and other family members.
“This is a significant loss to Trina Solar and mere words cannot express the heartfelt sorrow we all feel upon Govind’s passing and we will provide necessary assistance to his family in this mourn period and we pray his soul may rest in peace.”
The Smart Energy Council said it was “deeply saddened” by Mr Kant’s passing in a post on its own Facebook page.
“Govind was a humble man, who made a significant contribution to the solar industry in Australia. He will be sorely missed by so many,’ the tribute read.
“Our hearts go out to his wife and two daughters and to his extended family, to his colleagues at Trina Solar and to his many, many friends throughout the industry.
“Govind's death is a reminder of the devastation being wrought across India and across the world by COVID-19.”
Mr Kant’s death in India follows that of another Australian permanent resident, aged 59, who also succumbed to COVID-19 in Delhi earlier this month.
That man’s daughter Sonali Ralhan wrote on Facebook that her father had been “abandoned” by the Australian Government after it introduced a temporary ban on all travel from India.
The man’s death came three days into flight pause, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt argued was necessary to reduce the number of positive cases in quarantine.
“I am an Australian citizen and highly disappointed to be one today,” Ms Ralhan wrote.
“What nations disowns their own citizens? (It) is a matter of wonder for the entire world.”
The travel ban ended on May 15 but the Commonwealth Government has faced renewed criticism after the first repatriation flight out of India carried just 80 passengers, with 70 removed following a spate of positive tests.
Some of those kicked off that flight have since returned negative swabs, raising concerns about the veracity of the testing system put in place by Qantas.
The booted Australians – all of whom had been classified as “vulnerable” – could not be replaced at short notice because of a requirement that passengers leaving India test negative 48 hours prior to departure and again within 8 hours of take-off.
In a statement today, Qantas said all positive test samples had been re-analysed — under the supervision of independent medical experts — and each outcome was the same.
“This included some weak positives that may have been interpreted as negative results by other laboratories,” the statement said.
“The passengers who tested negative and ultimately flew on the 14 May repatriation service were also given a rapid antigen test prior to boarding, and tested again by NT Health over the first 24 hours of their stay at Howard Springs.
“Both sets of tests validated the original results, with only one additional passenger testing positive at Howard Springs, suggesting this person contracted COVID prior to leaving India but had yet to develop the infection.
“Considering all of these data points, Qantas and DFAT do not believe that any passengers booked on this flight were denied boarding in error.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails