New Delhi: On a day when 43 new deaths from the novel coronavirus were reported in Iran, sources at the Indian government on Monday said that the C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force will leave for Iran on Monday night to bring back Indians citizens stranded there. Also Read - Coronavirus: Air India Express Passengers Can Reschedule Tickets Freely Between March 12 And 31
“Indian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft to leave for Iran today to bring back Indians citizens stuck there amid coronavirus outbreak,” sources at the government said. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases Rise to 43, Health Minister Holds Review Meeting, Says ‘Issued Guidelines to All States’
Wing Commander Karan Kapoor, Captain of C-17 Globemaster, said, “We plan to depart Hindon Air Force Station at 8:30 PM and land in Tehran at about 2 AM. We will depart Tehran at about 4:30 AM and land back here at about 9:30 AM. Facilities to quarantine the passengers have been set up at Hindon.”
The development comes a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said efforts are underway for the return of Indian pilgrims from Iran’s Qom city and follow up arrangements are being discussed with the Iranian authorities.
Taking to Twitter, he also said that no case of coronavirus has been reported among the Indian fishermen in Iran.
“Efforts underway for the return of Indian pilgrims in Qom #Iran. The screening process has started and follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities. This is top priority and Embassy team @india_in_iran is fully engaged on this,” Jaishankar said.
He had said this in response to NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s urge to bring back Indians from Iran.
“In the wake of the alarming Covid-19 issue, I voiced my concerns to Dr. S. Jaishankar ji, Union Minister of External Affairs regarding more than 40 Indian citizens stranded at Qom city in Iran. They are distressed and in urgent need of medical help and general assistance,” Pawar had tweeted.
In a series of tweets, Jaishankar said the Indian embassy in Iran is in close touch with Indian fishermen and no case of coronavirus has been reported among them.
“Our Embassy @India_in_Iran continues to maintain close contact with Indian fishermen in #Iran. No case of #COVID19 reported among them. Ensuring that they have adequate supplies. Will continue to monitor their welfare,” Jaishankar said.
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar arrived on a surprise visit to Kashmir and met the relatives of those people, including students, who are stranded in Iran.
He met the relatives of those stranded, which include students and pilgrims from the Union Territory, at Kashmir International Convention Complex on the banks of Dal Lake.
During the interaction, the EAM assured the families that the people would be airlifted as soon as possible.
The development comes after Iran on Monday reported 43 new deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The total death toll in the country is 237. However, the the overall number of confirmed cases in the country is 7,161.