India’s fight against coronavirus has seen the successful evacuation of close to a thousand people from the virus-infected countries so far, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
900 of these evacuees are Indian nationals while 49 others are from friendly countries, mostly neighbours, including Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Nepal, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
The health ministry confirmed that last such rescue operation was conducted on the 9th of March when 58 nationals were brought back from Iran, the third-worst affected country.
The evacuees were brought back in a C-17 flight operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the ministry says this was the first of the several batches to be brought back from Iran.
India and Iran have both begun operations to evacuate citizens stranded in each other’s territories and have pledged full cooperation in this regard.
India is trying to set up a laboratory in Iran to test all Indians for the coronavirus to expedite their exit and in the meanwhile, their samples are being sent to India in batches for testing onboard special Mahan Air flights, an Iranian career.
Close to 300 people have died in Iran due to the virus and over 8,000 people are affected. In Italy, the country with the most fatalities after China, infections topped 10,000.
A total of 52 people have been detected with the virus in India as against over 116,000 infections globally. 4,000 people have lost their lives the world over.