IAF aircraft to leave for coronavirus-hit Iran tonight to bring back Indians
New Delhi: India will send a military transport aircraft to Iran on Monday night to bring back Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit nation, official sources said.
The C-17 Globemaster military aircraft is expected to depart from the Hindon airbase around 8 pm, they said.
About 2,000 Indians are living in Iran, a country that has witnessed increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in the last few days.
According to latest reports, 237 people have died of the coronavirus infection in Iran while the number of positive cases stands at around 7,000.
It will be the second such evacuation by the C-17 Globemaster in the last two weeks.
On February 27, 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals were brought back from the Chinese city of Wuhan by the aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
The aircraft had also taken a consignment of medical supplies to China to help it deal with the crisis.
The C-17 Globemaster is the largest military aircraft in the Indian Air Force’s inventory. The plane can carry large combat equipment, troops and humanitarian aid across long distances in all weather conditions.
Three days ago, a Mahan airline plane brought swab samples of 300 Indians from Iran to India.
The Union Health Ministry was initially considering setting up a laboratory in Iran to test Indians living in the country for coronavirus. However, the plan was shelved due to logistical issues.
India has so far reported 43 coronavirus cases. According to reports, the number of cases of novel coronavirus worldwide has crossed 110,000 people in 100 countries and territories with more than 3,800 dead.