First batch of pilgrims stuck in coronavirus-hit Iran brought back to India

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft from Tehran landed at Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on Tuesday with the first batch of Indians that were stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran.

“The IAF aircraft has landed. Mission completed. On to the next,” External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeted.

“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,” Jaishankar wrote.

The foreign minister 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,” Jaishankar had tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh got postponed after Bangladesh decided to defer public events being organised to celebrate the centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in view of the threat of coronavirus outbreak.

The Cabinet Secretary took a video conference with Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs on Monday. He emphasized upon actions like surveillance at points of entry (PoE), surveillance in the community, laboratory support and hospital preparedness. He called upon States/UTs to scale up logistics, quarantine facilities, capacity building, information management and risk communication. 

One more new case has been reported from Punjab. Thus, as of now there are 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country (3 positive cases from Kerala which are now discharged). As many as 11,913 cases are under IDSP community follow up. 

A total of 9,41,717 international passengers from 8,827 flights have been screened at airports till now with 54 passengers being referred to IDSP/ hospitals.