Above 200 Indians, including students and pilgrims stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran, arrived in India on Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated.
S Jaishankar expressed his thanks to Iranian authorities for helping India in the evacuation of its nationals, who came back in a Mahan Air flight, an Iranian airline. The landed in Mumbai.
“234 Indians stranded in Iran have arrived in India; including 131 students and 103 pilgrims. Thank you Ambassador @dhamugaddam (Dhamu Gaddam) and @India_in_Iran team for your efforts. Thank Iranian authorities,” the minister tweeted.
Iran is one of the worst affected nations in the Middle East with 12,729 cases. It stated on Saturday that the coronavirus outbreak has claimed another 97 lives, taking the death toll to 611.
India has conducted a number of evacuations of Indian nationals from Iran in the past few days.
The first batch of 58 Indians was brought back by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a C-17 Globemaster, the biggest military aircraft, on Tuesday followed by another evacuation of 44 people on Friday.
The aircraft, which took off from the Hindon airbase on Monday and returned on Tuesday, also brought back swab samples of 529 Indians to conduct lab tests and confirm whether they have the disease caused by the coronavirus.
India and Iran have both commenced operations to evict citizens stranded in each other’s territories and have vowed full cooperation in the matter.
India is looking to set up a laboratory in Iran to test all Indians for the Covid-19 to accelerate their evacuation and meanwhile, their samples are being sent to India in batches for testing.
India has so far reported two deaths and 105 positive cases of coronavirus.
The Central government has declared coronavirus a notified disaster in order to unlock funds for states to mobilise resources designed for stopping the spread of the deadly pathogen.