Fifty-eight Indians have been evacuated from Iran, another epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak outside China, on Monday morning.
The C-17 Globemaster military aircraft carrying Indian pilgrims in Iran departed from the Hindon airbase around 8 pm and on its way to India. It is learnt that those who tested negative for COVID-19 were taken to India from Iran. Earlier, the swab of around 300 Indian in Iran had been tested for COVID-19.
"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," Foreign Minister S Jaishankar wrote.
In another tweet, he thanked the embassy officials and medical staff for their efforts in ensuring the evacuation. "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. We are working on the return of other Indians stranded there," Mr Jaishankar wrote.
Hundreds of Indians are stranded in Iran, one of the worst-hit countries in the world by a coronavirus outbreak that originated in China's Wuhan city in December. More than 230 people have died, over 3,000 are infected in the country. With 1,945 cases, the capital Tehran remains the province with the most cases.
On Monday, S Jaishankar made a surprise visit to Kashmir to assure the family of Indian students stuck in Iran. "Met in #Srinagar the families of Indian students in #Iran. Assured them that our Embassy @India_in_Iran is monitoring their welfare. We are committed to facilitating their early return to India," he tweeted after the visit.