34 pilgrims from Maharashtra stranded in Iran;  Three fresh cases of Coronavirus in Delhi, Telengana and Rajasthan

34 pilgrims from Maharashtra stranded in Iran; Three fresh cases of Coronavirus in Delhi, Telengana and Rajasthan

Written By: / Tuesday, 03 March 2020 17:44

IT News
Mumbai, March 3

Since Iran has suspended flights to Asian countries including India and China, following outbreak of coronavirus, 34 pilgrims (most of them senior citizens) from Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur and other districts of Maharashtra are stranded in Tehran, with no chance of they returning to India soon.
The pilgrims reached Tehran on 21 February, as part of 12 days package tour organised by “Saad Travel”. From Tehran they wanted to travel to Najaf (Al-Najaf al-Ashraf, also known as Baniqia is a city in central-south Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad). Al-Najaf is site of the burial place of Muhammad’s son in law and cousin, Imam ‘Alî ibn Abî Tâlib. The city is a centre of pilgrimage throughout the Shi’ite Islamic world. However the pilgrims could not proceed to Iraq and remained stranded in Tehran.
The pilgrims wanted to return to India on 28 February, but in absence of flights they could not travel to India and are stranded in Tehran since then. The hotels where they were lodged earlier, are reluctant to give them accommodation, some of the pilgrims communicated their relatives through video caller.  
In response to their message for rescue, NCP MP Supriya Sule has sought intervention of Union External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to rescue the stranded pilgrims. In the letter dated 29 February to Jaishanker, she has forwarded full details of the pilgrims including their names, passport numbers etc. (A copy is in possession of IT) and sought his immediate attention since all the pilgrims are senior citizens. Another MP Sadashiv Mandalik (Shiv Sena) has also forwarded similar letter to Jaishankar seeking his intervention in the matter.
In another development, three patients suspected to be infected by Coronavirus have been found in Delhi, Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Telangana. The first two passengers travelled from Italy to Delhi and Jaipur respectively, while the patient in Telangana arrived from Dubai. They have been admitted to the hospitals and their health condition is being closely monitored. The patient admitted to Sawai Mansingh Hospital in Jaipur has tested positive.
 Similarly a 36 year youth who had returned to Payyanur (Kerala) from Malaysia died on Friday. He was admitted to the Ernakulam Govt Hospital. He was suffering from Pneumonia and had tested negative for coronavirus. The doctors are not yet clear, whether he died of coronavirus.
 In the meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered the country’s international airports to extend passenger screening to all travellers arriving from Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Airports in India were previously directed to only screen passengers arriving from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
This move is aimed at limiting the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, which has spread to 32 countries so far. DGCA stated that the screening should be conducted ‘once the passengers step out of the specific locations at all the airports’. They will have to fill in self-declaration forms, according to the instructions of the health and family welfare ministry.  
Airlines have also been directed to conduct in-flight announcements on incoming flights from the above countries. Last month, many airports around the world, including in India and the US, had started screening passengers arriving from China and Hongkong.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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