New Delhi: India on Saturday morning brought back another batch of its nationals stranded in Italy and Iran, the second and third-worst COVID-19 affected countries respectively. While an Air India flight landed at Delhi Airport with 218 Indians evacuees, another flight of the national carrier landed at Jaisalmer with those evacuated from Iran, with 236 onboard. Also Read - Coronavirus: Three Planes Will be Sent to Iran to Bring Back Stranded Indians, Says Health Ministry
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted: “234 Indians stranded in Iran have arrived in India; including 131 students and 103 pilgrims. Thank you Ambassador Dhamu Gaddam and Indian Embassy team for your efforts. Thank Iranian authorities too.”
The Indian Army, however, later clarified that in this batch, the third to be evacuated from Iran, 236 Indian nationals had, in fact, been brought back. They will now be quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre at Jaisalmer. The Wellness Centre is fully equipped and is a functional facility to help Indian citizens undertake the mandatory quarantine period under the supervision of skilled medical authorities.
The first two batches of Indian nationals were evacuated from Iran on Tuesday and Friday respectively. While 58 were evacuated in the first batch, 44 were brought back in the second.
The flight from Italy, meanwhile, landed at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport at 9:45 AM. Of 218 Indian nationals on board, 211 were students who were studying in the city of Milan.
V Muraleedharan, MoS (External Affairs) tweeted: “218 Indians including 211 students from Milan landed in Delhi. All will be quarantined for 14 days. The government is committed to reach out to Indians in distress, wherever they are!”
He also thanked the Italian government, the Indian embassy in Rome, the Consulate General of India in Milan and Air India.
India has thus far recorded 93 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including two deaths, as well as a third suspected death, in Maharashtra.