At least 276 Indians have been infected by the coronavirus abroad, including 255 people in Iran, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) informed Parliament on Wednesday. India would bring home every citizen who wishes to come and is in various stages of bringing back the latest batch of infected individuals from Iran and the United Arab Emirates, sources said.
“India would ultimately bear responsibility for its citizens, but it’s not feasible to send a plane every time an Indian is found to be infected abroad. The logistics need to be planned,” a senior official said.
Another official pointed out that no citizen who had been confirmed to be infected has been evacuated so far. As a result, planning is afoot to prepare unprecedented efforts, he added.
India has till now organised three special flights in January and February to evacuate 766 persons, including 723 from Wuhan and other cities of Hubei province in China.
According to government figures, over 6,000 Indians are currently in Iran, including about 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir and Maharashtra. New Delhi on Wednesday said efforts are being made to facilitate the early return of Indians stranded in Iran after testing them.