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IAF aircraft evacuates 58 Indians from coronavirus-hit Iran

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An Indian Air Force (IAF) transport aircraft on Tuesday brought back 58 Indians from Iran where 237 people have died of coronavirus so far, PTI reported.

The C-17 Globemaster, the largest military aircraft in the IAF’s inventory, which left for Tehran on Monday evening landed this morning at the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, from where the passengers were taken to a medical facility for tests. India currently has 46 positive cases of coronavirus across the country.


Iran, which is one of the worst-hit countries by coronsvirus, has witnessed a spike in infections with over 7000 positive cases. There are about 2000 Indians living in Iran.

Thanks to the efforts of our Embassy @India_in_Iran and Indian medical team there, operating under challenging conditions. Thank you @IAF_MCC. Appreciate cooperation of Iranian authorities.

We are working on the return of other Indians stranded there.

“The IAF aircraft has landed. Mission completed. On to the next,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

On Monday, Jaishankar in a surprise visit to Srinagar met parents of students stranded in Iran as well as representatives of the tourism industry. Around 300 people from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are among the Indians stranded in Iran.

First batch of 58 Indian pilgrims being brought back from #Iran. IAF C-17 taken off from Tehran and expected to land soon in Hindon.

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Tuesday’s evacuation was the second such exercise by the C-17 Globemaster in the last fortnight. In the first exercise, 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals were evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan on February 26.

The first batch of 58 Indian pilgrims deboard from IAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft which landed at Hindon air force station in Ghaziabad from Tehran, Iran. #CoronaVirus

India has so far carried out the four evacuations. The first two were on January 31 and February 2 when an Air India Boeing 747 airlifted 647 Indians from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Saturday, a special flight from Iran had arrived in Delhi with swab samples of 110 Indians. The samples were sent to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to check if any of those people are infected with the virus.