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Second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims arrive from virus-hit Iran: S Jaishankar


PTI, Mar 13, 2020, 4:15 PM IST

Mumbai/New Delhi: The second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims has arrived from Iran, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said. An Iran Air flight carrying Indian pilgrims stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran landed at the airport in Mumbai on Friday afternoon, an official said.

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

“The second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims has arrived today from #Iran. Our efforts to bring back the others continue. @India_in_Iran and our medical team – keep up the good work. Appreciate the support of Iranian authorities and their airlines,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

The first batch of 58 Indian pilgrims were brought back from Iran on Tuesday. An official said that the Iran Air flight landed at the Mumbai airport at around 12.08 pm. The passengers would be taken to Jaisalmer on an Air India aircraft, another official said.

On Thursday, a Defence spokesperson said around 120 Indians would be brought to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and quarantined at an Army facility there.

“They will be quarantined at an Indian Army facility created under the aegis of Southern Command. The patients will be transferred from the airport post their initial screening to the quarantine facility under the escort of civil administration,” Defence Spokesperson Col Sombit Ghosh had said.

Jaishankar, on Thursday, said there are over 6,000 Indians in various provinces of Iran. Coronavirus outbreak is a matter of “great concern” and the government’s initial focus is to bring back Indian pilgrims stranded in Iran, he had said.

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