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44 Iran evacuees reach India: Minister

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims arrived in India on Friday from Iran, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar tweeted.

The group reached Mumbai. Earlier it was reported that these 44 would be sent to a quarantine centre in Jaisalmer, but a top Rajasthan official told IANS that there is no confirmation about that.

Hailing the efforts made by the medical team of the Indian embassy in Iran and Iranian authorities involved in the evacuation operation, the Minister said: 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.”

After Wuhan, Italy and Iran witnessed the worst outbreak of novel Coronavirus. Many Indians, including students, pilgrims and fishermen, have been stranded in Iran amid the outbreak.

The government will carry out next evacuation on March 15 and one more such opeartion, but the date is yet to be decided, a Ministry official had said on Thursday at a press conference.

The Indian government has set up testing lab in Iran where the screening and tests are being conducted and prospective cases are detected there itself before bringing Indians back from Iran.

Earlier, Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said “We have been informed by the central government that 44 Indians evacuated from Iran will arrive today at the Army camp in Jaisalmer.

“All are tested negative. As per the protocol, they will be kept in isolation at the Army Hospital for 14 days. Collector Jaisalmer has been provided all requisite support and logistics by us and there is no need for any panic,” he added.

—IANS

sfm-arc/in

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