IAF sending C-17 Globemaster to bring Indians back from coronavirus-hit Iran
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is sending its C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to Iran today to bring back its citizens stuck there amid coronavirus outbreak, said sources.
Iran is among the countries worst-hit by the outbreak. Iran’s state television said that the virus had killed another 43 people, pushing the official toll up to 237 with 7,161 confirmed cases. But many fear the scope of illness is far wider there.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar had earlier said that the screening process of Indian nationals stranded in Iran has started and follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities to bring them back.
“Efforts underway for return of Indian pilgrims in Qom #Iran. Screening process has started & follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities. This is a top priority & Embassy team @india_in_iran is fully engaged on this,” Jaishankar had said on Twitter replying to NCP chief Sharad Pawar tweet.
He visited Srinagar on Monday and interacted with families of students whose children are stranded in Iran amid coronavirus scare. In the about an hour-long meeting, the parents made a joint request to the minister to bring back their children to India at the earliest.
“Her college has closed for last 15 days, we talk every day over the phone, the only thing she asks when she can return to Kashmir,” Syed Mehdi Hussain Rizwi, whose daughter Massoma Rizwi is doing MBBS in Iran, told news agency IANS.
To ensure that the Indians being brought back from Iran are disease-free, India has been making arrangements to test the passengers stranded in Iran in order to clear them in batches.
New Delhi has sent a team of doctors to Iran for screening and has established a clinic at Qom, where 40 Indian nationals are stranded.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally has surpassed 101,000, with more than 3,400 deaths and 55,800 recoveries.