External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday revealed that the fourth batch of 53 Indians stranded in Iran, where the impact of coronavirus has been catastrophic, has arrived in India. With this, the total number of people evacuated from the nation stands at 389, he added.
In Iran, 724 people have died and 13,938 were infected with the deadly virus, reports Worldometers.
Officials said the Indians were on-board a Mahan Air Flight and landed at around 3 am. They were taken to Jaisalmer where they will be quarantined, in an Air India flight
To note, the first batch of 58 Indians was brought back from Iran last Tuesday, and the subsequent group of 44 Indians came last Friday.
On Sunday morning, over 230 Indians returned.
Last week, Jaishankar told Rajya Sabha the Indian government was keen on bringing back countrymen stranded in Italy and Iran.
He said Iran houses over 6,000 Indians, including 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Maharashtra.
The government would bring back the pilgrims first and students after that, Jaishankar said, adding that fishermen were in parts of Iran that weren't affected.
While Iran is struggling to deal with the virus, which originated in China in mid-December, the nation's President Hassan Rouhani wrote a letter to world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the US sanctions were adversely affecting its battle against the disease.
"This virus knows no boundary and claims victims without political, religious, ethnic, and racial considerations," he wrote.
"In letter to counterparts @HassanRouhani informs how efforts to fight #COVID19 pandemic in Iran have been severely hampered by US sanctions, urging them to cease observing them: It is IMMORAL to let a bully kill innocents, (sic)" Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif said.
Meanwhile, in India, the number of coronavirus positive cases soared to 110 on Sunday with two confirmed deaths. The infected lot includes 17 foreign nationals.
Since India is on a brink of a huge disaster, the government has suspended visas, upped security detail at airports, and asked citizens to take precautions.
Several states have announced the closure of schools, malls, and cinema halls.
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