IAF Jet Brings 58 Indian Pilgrims From Iran

The first batch of 58 pilgrims who had been stuck in Iran, one of the worst coronavirus-affected nation, arrived at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on Tuesday morning.

“First batch of 58 Indian pilgrims being brought back from #Iran. IAF C-17 taken off from Tehran and expected to land soon in Hindon,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed a little while ago.

The Minister lauded the efforts of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian mebassy in Tehran as well as those of Iranian authorities in evacuating the Indian pilgrims.

“Thanks to the efforts of our Embassy @India_in_Iran and Indian medical team there, operating under challenging conditions. Thank you @IAF_MCC. Appreciate cooperation of Iranian authorities,” Jaishankar added.

IAF’s C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft had departed for Iran on Monday from Hindon Air Force Station here to bring back Indian nationals stuck in Iran.

Iran is among the countries most affected by the novel coronavirus. The country has reported 7,161 cases of the disease so far while 237 people have died of the infection — the highest outside of China.

The IAF aircraft had earlier been sent to the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan with about 15 tonnes of medical equipment and had brought back 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals.

The External Affairs Minister had informed on Monday that the screening process of Indian nationals stranded in Iran has started and follow up arrangements were being discussed with Iranian authorities to bring them back.

“We are working on the return of other Indians stranded there,” the dignitary also said in his twitter thread today.

Earlier in the day today, Jaishankar met families of Indian students stranded in Iran and assured them that the Centre has been facilitating their early return to India.

Around 40 Indian citizens are stranded at Qom city in Iran. New Delhi has sent a team of doctors to Iran for screening and has established a clinic at Qom.

Iranian Embassy here has also assured that the Indian citizens with no symptoms of the virus will be transferred to India and those whose medical test results are positive will be hospitalised in one of the advanced special medical centres designated by Iran’s Ministry of Health. (ANI)

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