Efforts on for return of Indian pilgrims from Qom in Iran: Jaishankar

New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said efforts are underway for the return of Indian pilgrims from Iran's Qom city and follow up arrangements are being discussed with the Iranian authorities.

Jaishankar also said no case of coronavirus has been reported among the Indian fishermen in Iran.

Tagging a tweet of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in which he urged Jaishankar to see that the Indians stranded in Iran in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak get medical help and general assistance, the External Affairs Minister said efforts are underway for return of the Indian pilgrims from Qom in Iran.

'Efforts underway for return of Indian pilgrims in Qom #Iran. Screening process has started and follow up arrangements are being discussed with Iranian authorities. This is top priority and Embassy team @india_in_iran is fully engaged on this,' Jaishankar responded in a tweet, tagging Pawar, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Shashi Tharoor.

'In the wake of the alarming Covid-19 issue, I voiced my concerns to Dr. S. Jaishankar ji, Union Minister of External Affairs regarding more than 40 Indian citizens stranded at Qom city in Iran. They are distressed and in urgent need of medical help and general assistance,' Pawar had tweeted.

In another tweet, Jaishankar said the Indian embassy in Iran is in close touch with Indian fishermen and no case of coronavirus has been reported among them.

'Our Embassy @India_in_Iran continues to maintain close contact with Indian fishermen in #Iran. No case of #COVID19 reported among them. Ensuring that they have adequate supplies. Will continue to monitor their welfare,' Jaishankar said, tagging Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK president M K Stalin and Tharoor.

Iran is among the countries grappling with the outbreak of coronavirus. Iran's health ministry on Sunday reported 49 new deaths due to novel coronavirus, the highest toll within 24 hours since the start of the outbreak in the Islamic republic.

The new count brings the number of those killed since mid-February by the virus in that country to 194, one of the highest tolls outside of China where the disease originated.

The virus has spread to all of Iran's 31 provinces with 6,566 confirmed cases.

Iran has closed schools and universities until early April, as well as suspended major cultural and sporting events and reduced working hours across the country to slow the contagion. PTI UZM RDM RDM