New Delhi: After news reports surfaced that a number of Indians including fishermen are stranded in Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday in a letter urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to direct the Embassy officials to take necessary steps and arrange for the safe return of these people. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Iran Reports 11 Fresh Deaths, Total Toll Rises to 54
“More than 100 fishermen trapped in Azalur, Iran due to COVID19. I request you to direct the Embassy officials to take necessary steps and arrange for the safe return of these persons,” Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Iran Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar Newest Patient of COVID-19, Claim Reports
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the Central government has received reports of Indians including fishermen being stuck in Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak. He added that the embassy in Tehran is in touch with local authorities on the issue.
On the other hand, Indian envoy to Iran Gaddam Dharmendra had on Saturday informed that the authorities are working to facilitate the return of Indians.
In the wake of the incident, a number of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have urged the Central government to evacuate the people of the Union Territory, including students, who were stranded in Iran.
“Received reports on Indians including fishermen from Kerala stuck in Iran due to #COVID19. Our Embassy in Tehran is making an assessment of the situation and is in touch with local authorities,” Muraleedharan said in a tweet.
The development comes after Iran’s health ministry on Sunday confirmed that 11 fresh deaths have been reported from the coronavirus and 385 infections, bringing the overall number of lives lost to 54 and cases to 978.
“In view of COVID19, working to facilitate the return of those Indians wishing to go back home. Discussions underway with concerned authorities to work out arrangements. Will keep you updated (sic),” Dharmendra had said on Twitter.
In this regard, India had also issued a travel advisory on February 26 to avoid non-essential travel to Iran due to the incidence of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.