Coronavirus outbreak: 300 Kashmiri students stranded in Iran await evacuation

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Srinagar, Feb 27: More than 300 Kashmiri students studying in Iran have been left stranded as New Delhi has canceled all flights to and from Tehran following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The novel Coronavirus outbreak, which was first reported from Wuhan, has now spread to various countries including Iran with over 2,600 deaths reported from China alone while nearly a million have been infected.

For the last two weeks, all the educational institutions are shut in Iran . More than 300 Kashmiri students are confined to their hostels as they allege that no effort has been made for their evacuation.

Suhaib Maqbool, a Kashmiri student pursuing MBBS in Tehran University, said authorities have told them to go back to their respective countries.

“We are living in constant fear. There are around 150 Kashmiri students at our university. We are running out of stocks,” he said

Parents of Kashmiri students are worried about their children as flights have been canceled by the authorities.

Abdul Rashid Parry, whose son is pursuing MBBS in Tehran University, said they are worried about the safety of their children. “All the flights from Iran were canceled on Wednesday and the students are stuck there. The government should make efforts to bring the stranded students back safely,” he said

Waking up to the crisis, the Indian embassy in Tehran has issued an advisory for Indian nationals residing in Iran asking them to maintain proper hygiene.

“The embassy is in touch with the local authorities in Iran and all Indians residing in Iran. All Indians are requested to observe necessary hygiene including wearing a mask and avoiding going to crowded places, and public gathering,” the embassy said.

Besides, the embassy has also started an emergency helpline for the Indian nationals based in Iran. “Those who wish to enquire further can contact us on or +98-9128109115”, the embassy said

Srinagar district administration has also set up a helpline for the students residing in Iran.

“Indian students in Tehran may contact the embassy helpline. Given a large number of requests and emails, our helpline +919419028251 (Srinagar/Kashmir) will be functional 24*7 for any assistance. Thankful to @MEAIndia for the prompt response,” tweeted Dr. Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, District Commissioner, Srinagar.

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