Covid-19: Kashmiri students stuck in Iran- Indian embassy in touch with authorities: MEA
New Delhi, Mar 1: The government has received reports of Indians including fishermen stuck in Iran due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the embassy in Tehran is in touch with local authorities on the issue, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Sunday. Indian envoy to Iran Gaddam Dharmendra had on Saturday said the authorities are working to facilitate the return of Indians who wish to go back home and discussions were underway with authorities. Several political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have appealed to the Centre to evacuate the people of the Union Territory, including students, who were stranded in Iran. “Received reports on Indians including fishermen from Kerala stuck in Iran due to #COVID19. Our Embassy in Tehran is making an assessment of the situation and is in touch with local authorities,” Muraleedharan said in a tweet. Iran’s health ministry on Sunday reported 11 new deaths from the novel coronavirus and 385 infections, bringing the overall number of lives lost to 54 and cases to 978. “In view of COVID19, working to facilitate the return of those Indians wishing to go back home. Discussions underway with concerned authorities to work out arrangements. Will keep you updated (sic),” Dharmendra had said on Twitter. Earlier, the Indian embassy in Tehran had issued an advisory for Indians residing there and assured them that they were closely monitoring the situation. India had also issued a travel advisory on February 26 to avoid non-essential travel to Iran due to incidence of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. In addition, people coming from Iran or having such travel history since 10 February may be quarantined for 14 days on arrival to India, the advisory said. The National Conference’s Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi said he spoke to Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar about the safe return of the stranded Kashmiri students in Iran following the outbreak of the deadly virus there. Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Saif-ud-din Soz and former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari had also appealed to the Centre to evacuate the people of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the students and businessmen, stranded in Iran. “I am in touch with the MEA and have submitted details of over 240 J-K students who are stuck in Shiraz, Tehran and other cities of Iran,” Bukhari had said in a statement. Prominent Shia leader and former minister Imran Reza Ansari had said he was in touch with relevant authorities and has been assured of evacuation of J-K students from Iran.