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Young Indian woman dies of tuberculosis on flight from Melbourne to Delhi

A young Indian woman died of tuberculosis just after boarding a Qantas flight to Delhi from Melbourne late last month.

Manpreet Kaur, 24, needed medical assistance shortly before take-off on June 20, but could not be saved despite the efforts of cabin crew and paramedics who rushed to treat her.

She is believed to have died of highly infectious lung disease tuberculosis, which is rare in Australia. There are about 1,300 cases nationwide each year, and the majority of patients are born overseas.

Gurdip Grewal, a friend of Ms Kaur, told the Herald Sun she started feeling sick hours before she arrived at Tullamarine Airport.

“When she got on the plane, she was struggling to put her seatbelt on,” he said.

“Just before her flight started, she fell in front of her seat and died on the spot.”

Ms Kaur moved to Australia in 2020, and was travelling home to see her parents for the first time since then.

She worked at Australia Post, but was studying to become a chef.

Qantas said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family and friends”.

On a GoFundMe set up for Ms Kaur, Mr Grewal wrote: “Our dear friend Manpreet left us too soon, leaving a void in our lives that can never be filled. As we grieve her passing, we want to come together to honour her memory and support her family in their time of need.”

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