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Government intends to set up coronavirus testing facility for Indians in Iran: Health Minister 

The Iranian government, however, has not yet given permission for it. An estimated 1,200 Indians, mostly students and pilgrims, are in Iran currently.

Published: 04th March 2020 04:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th March 2020 04:52 PM   |  A+A-

A woman has her temperature checked and her hands disinfected as she enters the Palladium Shopping Center, in northern Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

A woman has her temperature checked and her hands disinfected as she enters the Palladium Shopping Center, in northern Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: India intends to set up a laboratory in Iran so that Indians there can be tested for a possible exposure to novel coronavirus before being brought back, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.

The Iranian government has not yet given permission for it.

An estimated 1,200 Indians, mostly students and pilgrims, are in Iran currently.

ALSO READ: 17 Indians abroad infected with coronavirus, confirms MEA

"If the Iranian government lends its support, a testing facility could be set up there as well, so that Indians there can be tested before they can be brought back," Vardhan said.

One scientist from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune has been sent to Iran while three more from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will leave at 4 pm on Wednesday to check the feasibility of setting up a laboratory there for conducting coronavirus test.

ALSO READ: Iran reports 15 new coronavirus deaths, toll 92

As part of the country's preparedness in containing the spread of the disease, the minister said all foreign nationals henceforth will be screened for COVID-19 at the 21 designated airports and not just the 12 countries listed earlier.

A total of 28 COVID-19 cases were detected in India so far.

Among them, one person was from Delhi, six of his relatives in Agra, 16 Italians and their Indian driver, one in Telangana and the three earlier cases in Kerala, Vardhan said.

On the other hand, Iran has so far reported over 2,000 coronavirus cases and 77 deaths.



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