New Delhi, Mar 18 : The Government was making focused efforts to ensure safe return of Indians stranded in Iran due to the spread of Novel Coronavirus and has arranged special flights to bring back 389 Indians, including students and pilgrims, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
As on March 16, 389 Indians have been brought back to India, onboard special flights of Indian Air Force and Iranian Airlines. These include 205 devotees and 183 students, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in a written reply to DK Suresh (Congress).
According to Muraleedharan, there were over 6,000 Indian nationals in Iran, including pilgrims, students, fishermen and others, who were on a long term stay in that country, to pursue their livelihood and religious studies. These include 1100 pilgrims, around 300 students, close to 1000 fishermen and others, Mr Muraleedharan added. A team of six Indian Health officials has been deputed to Iran, to set up testing and sampling facilities there.
They have taken 1706 samples, including from pilgrims, students and other Indians stranded in Iran, which will be sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune for testing, said the Minister. 'Our Embassies and Consulates in the region are in touch with the Indian nationals stranded in Iran and are working with the local authorities to provide them all possible help,' he added. Talking about the Gulf countries, the Minister said eight Indians residing in the United Arab Emirates were under quarantine, while there were none such cases in Kuwait. (UNI)