India has sent a military aircraft to evacuate the first batch of its nationals from Tehran; it landed at an air force base near New Delhi on Tuesday morning.
Federal Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that all of the 58 people who arrived were found to have tested negative for the coronavirus. He, however, said they all would be quarantined for a fortnight before being allowed to leave for their homes.
“Delighted to inform that on the auspicious occasion of Holi, the first batch of 58 Indians stranded in Iran has been brought back to Indian soil. C-17 which took off from Iran at 0459 hours has landed with 25 men, 31 women, 2 children and 529 samples on board," said Dr. Vardhan
#CoronaVirusUpdate :— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) March 10, 2020
All 58 evacuated Indians who have landed at Hindon on IAF’s C-17 Globemaster Flight from Iran have tested negative for #coronavirus .
They shall now be quarantined for 14 days.
Thank you @IAF_MCC & @DrSJaishankar for coordinating this humongous exercise ! pic.twitter.com/voMTNVVwAV
India has reported 43 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while three persons initially taken for treatment in Kerala state were discharged following a complete recovery.
Meanwhile, India's Federal Health Ministry has asked states to set up rapid response teams to control the situation.
The ministry has also advised people to keep away from crowds and public places, unless it was unavoidable: the country witnessed subdued festivity on Tuesday. The festival of colours, or Holi, is being celebrated, with people applying coloured powder on friends and relatives and distributing sweets.
India had evacuated over 800 of its citizens from the epicentre of the pandemic in Wuhan, China and from the COVID-19 infected Diamond Princess Cruise ship in Japan. The evacuated included seven people from the Maldives who lived in Wuhan and two Sri Lankans, as well as someone from Nepal, a South African and Peruvian citizens from Japan.