Due to outbreak of COVID-19 in Iran, India has sent a entire testing lab for testing of stranded Indians in Iran. Thousands of Indians are stranded in Iran. The central government is making every effort to bring back stranded Indians from Iran.
Along with the lab equipment, Central Govt has sent one scientist from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune and three scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to Iran. More than 6,000 Indians are stranded in Iran.
An IAF C-17 ‘Globemaster’ aircraft got airborne today at 2030 hrs from Hindan airbase to airlift Indian citizens from Iran. The aircraft has a specialist medical team onboard. Indian citizens will be flown to Hindan where medical facilities including quarantine have been set up. pic.twitter.com/ybNErwOXOr— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 9, 2020
Dr Harsh vardhan said that India’s plan was to set up a lab and conduct sample tests of Indians there. He said in the Lok Sabha, “We want to do a sample test of Indians stranded in Iran. For this, we have sent a lab weighing tons to Iran so that those whose tests are negative can be sent to India. We would later donate this lab to Iran but we have not been able to set up the lab due to delay in custom clearance there.”
Health Minister Dr Harsh vardhan said, “We have sent our scientists & labs to Iran. So that the Indians who are to be brought back can be screened and tested there itself before their return.”
Union Health Min Dr Harsh Vardhan: We have sent our scientists & labs to Iran, when we will get custom clearance then they will start working. Right now we are bringing samples from there & when the report of that sample will come negative, we will bring them back. #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/xUOjss15ji— ANI (@ANI) March 9, 2020
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “Please understand that we can only bring them back if they are tested, they have to be tested. To test them, we’ve started sampling today as we can’t bring back untested people in a very severe epidemic situation as I have the responsibility of this country to worry about.”
India has also sent a four-member medical team to Italy to test the Indian nationals who want to return to the country. Indian Medical team collected samples of Indian nationals for testing COVID-19.
An Air India flight sent to Italy on Saturday is expected to bring back some 250 people on Sunday.