India airlifts over 1,400 nationals from virus-hit countries


Medical team at work in the Indian Embassy at Rome, Italy collecting samples of Indian nationals for testing COVID-19 (Photo: Twitter)
Medical team at work in the Indian Embassy at Rome, Italy collecting samples of Indian nationals for testing COVID-19 (Photo: Twitter)

INDIA has evacuated 1,444 nationals from different COVID-19 infected countries in the past weeks. These include 766 from China, 124 from Japan, 336 from Iran and 218 from Italy so far.

The country has carried out the latest rescue missions in Italy and Iran, worst COVID-19 affected countries after China.

Two Air India flights carrying 234 Indians from coronavirus-hit Iran landed on Sunday(15) and the passengers have been quarantined at the Indian Army Wellness Centre at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

The batch comprises 131 students and 103 pilgrims, the government said.

Besides, a total of 218 Indians, including 211 students, stranded in Italy have also been rescued.

India has carried out the largest evacuation drive after the outbreak of the pandemic across the globe.

This is the third batch of Indians evacuated from Iran. The second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims had arrived from Iran on Friday.

The first batch of 58 Indian pilgrims was brought back from Iran in early last week.

Iran is one of the worst-affected countries by the coronavirus outbreak and the government has been working on plans to bring back Indians stranded there.

“218 Indians including 211 students from Milan landed in Delhi. All will be quarantined for 14 days. The government is committed to reaching out to Indians in distress, wherever they are,” said minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan.

“Appreciate Govt. of Italy for their support and team @IndiainItaly @cgmilan1 @airindiain @DrSJaishankar,” he added.

The Indian government has suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to more than 90.

The government has been carrying out the evacuation of Indians from many countries, including Iran and Italy.