Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar 9 (ANI): Indian Air Force's (IAF) C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft departed for Iran on Monday from Hindon Air Force Station here to bring back Indian nationals stranded in the coronavirus-hit middle-eastern country.
The plane will land in Tehran at around 2 am on Tuesday (IST) and return to the country with evacuated Indians at around 9:30 am, Wing Commander Karan Kapoor, Captain of C-17 Globemaster, had told ANI prior to the plane's departure.
Iran is among the countries most affected by the novel coronavirus, having reported 7,161 cases of the disease so far, while 237 people have died of the infection, the highest outside of China.
The said aircraft had earlier been sent to the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan with about 15 tonnes of medical equipment and had brought back 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had informed yesterday that the screening process of Indian nationals stranded in Iran has started and follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities to bring them back.
Earlier in the day today, Jaishankar met families of Indian students stranded in Iran and assured them that the Centre has been facilitating their early return to India.
Around 40 Indian citizens are stranded at Qom city in Iran. New Delhi has sent a team of doctors to Iran for screening and has established a clinic at Qom.
Iranian Embassy here has also assured that the Indian citizens with no symptoms of the virus will be transferred to India and those whose medical test results are positive will be hospitalized in one of the advanced special medical centres designated by Iran's Ministry of Health. (ANI)