External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar while speaking in the Lok Sabha on how India is battling the spread of Coronavirus. Jaishankar said the outbreak of coronavirus is a matter of concern and we need to respond responsibly.
“As the House would have noticed, where specific interventions are required – as in the case of Wuhan in China, the Diamond Princess crew in Japan or now the pilgrims in Iran, we will take necessary action. But these are exceptional situations that require exceptional response. At this time, travel in itself is not recommended as it only heightens risks. Where communities are understandably anxious, we should reassure them and encourage the observants of globally recognised precautions and procedures.
“An excessive sense of alarm would only be to the detriment of those who are really in it. There are operational constraints in evacuating Indians as Iranian system is strict.
“We will continue to track welfare of all Indians stranded in Iran. There are 6000 Indians stranded in Iran including 1,100 pilgrims from Maharashtra and J-K and 300 students. The initial focus on bringing back pilgrims, mostly stranded in coronavirus-hit Qom in Iran. 229 out of the 529 samples of Indians stranded in Iran have tested negative for coronavirus.
“I visited Srinagar recently and took the initiative to meet the parents of some of the students who are in Iran. Their anxiety at this time is completely understandable. I shared with them in details, the ground situation and sought their understanding.
“I assured them that the govt would facilitate the earliest possible return of their children and I would like to share with the House that the sampling of these students has begun today.”