Iran has asked India to take immediate steps to evacuate Indians from the Islamic country which has seen the highest number of casualties due to coronavirus outbreak outside China, where the disease originated.
The communication was made in a note verbale issued by the Iranian embassy in Delhi on Saturday.
“It is reminded to kind attention of the esteemed Ministry the necessity for taking immediate and prompt action for transfer of the nationals of both countries who have been affected as a result of the existing limitations,” says the note.
The note follows reports that India had temporarily suspended all flights to and from Iran on Friday. More than 200 Indians in Iran and over 300 Iranians were reported to be affected by the flight restriction.
The note says Iran expects India to also facilitate transfer of Iranian nationals to their parent country. It further asks India to ensure that they are properly screened for the virus that had taken 34 lives in Iran as per the latest official figures quoted by a news agency.
There was no response from the Indian government to the note till the time of publishing.
Senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz has requested the government to help evacuate Kashmiris studying in Iran and China.
“I pleaded strongly with the External Affairs Minister that it is a worrisome situation for Kashmir from where many people have travelled to Iran for studies and other pursuits and requested him to ensure that these students should travel back to their families,” Soz was quoted as saying by a news agency.
MDMK chief Vaiko also urged the external affairs ministry to take steps to bring some 900 Indian fishermen who are said to be stranded in Iran due to the suspension of flights from the gulf countries.
An Iranian lawmaker said the country was fearing a surge in infections in the upcoming week.
According to the Iranian health ministry figures released on Friday, coronavirus had claimed the lives of 34 Iranians and over 388 citizens, including four parliament members, had been diagnosed positive for the infection.