COVID 19 has infected more than double Indians abroad, says govt
Coronavirus has affected more Indians abroad than at home the government said revealing the figures in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. A total of 276 Indians including 255 in Iran, 12 in UAE and five in Italy, were confirmed to be infected with the virus that has inflicted 151 cases in the country including 25 foreigners.
Minister of state for the external affairs V Muraleedharan said Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda and Sri Lanka all had declared one infected Indian national each and eight Indians living in the UAE were under quarantine.
Iran and Italy are the two worst coronavirus impacted countries outside China with 16169 and 27980 cases respectively as per the latest Covid 19 data released by the World Health Organisation.
The junior minister told parliament that over 6,000 Indians were currently in Iran including about 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra, over 1,000 fishermen from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and approximately 300 students apart from others who are either employed in the Islamic republic or following religions studies using long term visas.
India has so far managed to repatriate 389 citizens, including 205 pilgrims and 183 students, from Iran in four special flights.
In order to facilitate the process, a team of six Indian health officials from ICMR are taking samples of Indians which are flown to India to be tested here before they are allowed on flights home.
The medical team is attempting to set up a lab in Iran for testing.
The minister added that the Indian consulate have established contact with the Indian fishermen in southern provinces of Iran and they are reportedly in good health with sufficient essential supplies.
“Efforts are being made to facilitate early return of the Indian nationals stranded in Iran after testing them,” Muraleedharan said.
He also added that Indian embassies and consulates in the region had launched helplines to stay in touch with the Indian nationals and were continuously working with the local authorities to assist them.
Three deaths due to coronavirus have been recorded in India so far compared to nearly a 1,000 in Iran, while the global death toll stands over 7500.