The day after India banned all Iranian flights due to the novel coronavirus, the Iranian government has sought that New Delhi "take immediate action for transfer of passengers of both countries who have been affected as result of existing limits on travel"
In a note verbale, the Embassy of Iran in New Delhi communicated the same to India, while also informing New Delhi of its full preparedness to carry out "needful medical examination" for screening of the virus at all points of exit from Iran.
India had on Thursday temporarily suspended all flights from Iran as the country struggles to control the spread of novel coronavirus. The virus as of Saturday has killed 43 in Iran and infected 593. Reports have also emerged that the West Asian country has been hiding the actual number of casualties, however, Tehran has denied the allegation.
According to a report in Business Standard, aviation sources said there are 250 Indians stranded in Iran who were supposed to return home via Iran Air while around 350 Iranians are currently in India and booked to travel on Iran Air flight from Mumbai till March-end.
Currently, two Iranian carriers " Iran Air and Mahan Air " operate flights to Mumbai and Delhi, respectively, while no Indian airline flies to Iran, the report added.
The Iranian embassy in New Delhi also said that Indian nationals travelling via air can get themselves screened for the virus at the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran or at screening centres setup at exit points via land.
"Iran expects from Indian authorities to provide the same facility for Iranian nationals at the time of departure from India and take immediate action for transfer of those passengers of both countries who have been affected as a result of existing limits on travel," it said.
India's Ambassador to Iran, Gaddam Dharmendra, on Saturday said that the authorities are working to facilitate the return of those Indians who wish to go back to New Delhi."In view of coronavirus, working to facilitate the return of those Indians wishing to go back home. Discussions are underway with concerned authorities to work out arrangements," the ambassador said.
Iran is preparing for the possibility of "tens of thousands" of people getting tested for the new coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases spiked again Saturday, an official said, underscoring the fear both at home and abroad over the outbreak in the Islamic Republic. The virus has infected more than 85,000 and caused more than 2,900 deaths since emerging in China.
Iran, with 43 people dead, has the world's highest death toll outside of China. Of the 730 confirmed cases scattered across the West Asia, the majority trace back to the Islamic Republic.