Coronavirus: Kerala CM urges Jaishankar to evacuate stranded Indian fishermen from Iran

PTI
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 01, 2020, 11.09 PM(IST)

File photo of Indian Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Iran has reported 54 deaths from coronavirus -- the most outside of China -- while as many as 987 people have been infected from the virus, the country`s Health Ministry said, as reported by the IRNA.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, urging him to direct Indian embassy officials in Iran to take necessary steps for the evacuation of more than a hundred Indian fishermen stranded in the Middle Eastern country amid coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter dated March 1, Vijayan informed that the fishermen -- 60 of whom hail from Kerala -- are "unable to return to India on account of the COVID-19 spread" in Iran.

"We have received information that more than a hundred fishermen are trapped in Azalur, Iran. When contacted by State Government officials, it has been stated by the persons trapped in Azalur that more than a hundred persons are there out of which around sixty are reported to be from Kerala," the letter read.

"As per the prevailing situation, it is learnt that they are unable to return to India on account of the COVID-19 spread. In this circumstances, I request you to direct the Embassy officials to take necessary steps and arrange for the safe return of these persons," it added.

Iran has reported 54 deaths from coronavirus -- the most outside of China -- while as many as 987 people have been infected from the virus, the country`s Health Ministry said, as reported by the IRNA.

Vijayan`s letter to Jaishankar comes a day after Indian Ambassador to Iran Gaddam Dharmendra said that the authorities are working to facilitate the return of those Indians who wish to go back to New Delhi.

"In view of coronavirus, we are working to facilitate the return of those Indians wishing to go back home. Discussions are underway with concerned authorities to work out arrangements," the ambassador said.

First detected to the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, last year, coronavirus has spread to more than 45 countries across the world, including India. 


 

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