The group was ferried home by an Air India flight.pti
The group was ferried home by an Air India flight.pti

263 Indians return from Italy, tally of evacuees nears 2,000

  • The group comprising mainly students was ferried home by an Air India flight, said an Indian official
  • Italy has been the worst-affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic surpassing China, where the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes the disease first surfaced in December

Abatch of 263 Indians stranded in Italy arrived in New Delhi on Sunday morning, taking the numbers of those evacuated from countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak to almost 2,000, according to the Indian government.

The group comprising mainly students was ferried home by an Air India flight, said an Indian official. On arrival, the group was screened for Covid-19 symptoms and transferred to an isolation facility run by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police near Delhi. So far, India has evacuated its nationals from China, Japan and Iran, besides Italy.

Italy has been the worst-affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic surpassing China, where the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes the disease first surfaced in December. According to the Johns Hopkins University’s dashboard, Italy had almost 54,000 people infected and close to 5,000 deaths on Sunday. Worldwide, the virus has claimed more than 13,000 lives and infected over 316,000 people in 169 countries/regions.

In India, the number of deaths reached seven on Sunday, with the number of infections at 396. India was observing a day of “janata curfew" or citizen-led social distancing, heeding a call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest the momentum of Covid-19 infections across the country.

India has set up a wellness centre in one of the two places worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Iran to take care of its nationals, who have tested positive for Covid-19, but have not been brought back home. The facility in Qom, south of Tehran, is manned by Indian student volunteers and Iranian medical personnel, the Indian embassy in Iran said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

The Indian embassy and its mission in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas “have started supplying essentials to ~1000 #Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Kerala in Iran’s southern provinces of Bushehr & Hormozgan," said the embassy in a separate post on Friday.

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