COVID-19: Flight from Iran to bring swab samples 

The samples will be tested for coronavirus and if found negative, the stranded Indians would be brought back from Iran, he added.

Published: 07th March 2020 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2020 08:42 AM   |  A+A-


Students wearing masks to protect themselves from coronavirus. (Photo | G Satyanarayana, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Iranian carrier Mahan Air will bring blood samples of nearly 300 Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit country and fly back Iranian nationals stranded in India. The flight carrying swab samples, cleared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, will land in Delhi late Friday, civil aviation secretary Pradeep S Kharola said.

The samples will be tested for coronavirus and if found negative, the stranded Indians would be brought back from Iran, he added. There are about 2,000 Indians, mostly from Kargil area of Kashmir, stranded there. They had gone to visit a religious shrine in Iran but got stuck as regular commercial flights were suspended between the two countries following the spread of the China-originated virus.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Indian authorities were in touch with their Iranian counterparts for bringing the Indians back.Meanwhile, the DGCA has said that a doctor or medical personnel, as authorised under CAR (civil aviation requirements) rules, shall scan a person for the symptoms of fever, cough, running nose etc. before carrying out a breathalyser test. If the person is detected with such symptoms, then BA test will not be done and such person would be removed from the duty and will return to work only after being declared fit.

No biometric attendance
The Centre on Friday decided to exempt employees from marking their attendance on the biometric system. According to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the exemption will be in force till March 31. “However, all the employees are required to mark their attendance in the attendance register (as done prior to launch of biometric system) during this period,” the order said. 
Sources said movement of visitors inside Parliament also likely to be restricted in the current session.

No spectators at Retreat
The Border Security Force has decided to not allow people to attend the daily retreat ceremony between India and Pakistan at the Attari-Wagah border in Punjab. The precautionary measure will be effective from Saturday.

CORONA scare

Wings India 2020
A truncated version of the show, jointly organised by civil aviation ministry and Ficci will be held at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad from March 12 to 15. Large gatherings would be curtailed; video-conferences planned with delegates outside India

Big-ticket IIFA events in Madhya Pradesh — March 21 in Bhopal and March 27-29 in Indore — postponed Fresh date and plans for hosting IIFA in MP to be announced at the earliest

International Gems and Jewellery Show
Planned to be held in Jaipur next month, it has been postponed after an Italian couple tested positive in the city

Khelo India Winter Games
The games, to be held at the ski resort of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir from March 7 to 11, however, will be held, as of now. It will be inaugurated by Union MoS, Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju
Demands have been raised for cancelling the event in the wake of the govt advisory against large gatherings in order to prevent virus spread

Hoarders warned

The Centre warned of stringent action against hoarding and black-marketing of face masks and hand sanitisers amid rising demand due to the coronavirus outbreak

Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to all chief ministers of party-ruled states to put in place effective response and preparedness measures

Army readies to battle COVID-19

The Army has decided to expand quarantine facilities at multiple locations with an additional capacity to cater to 1,500 people

Possible locations to set up quarantine facilities include Jaisalmer, Suratgarh, Secundrabad, Chennai and Kolkata

Military hospitals will also establish isolation wards and have separate outpatient departments for screening

All personnel asked to avoid all non-essential foreign travels

It has also issued an advisory to military stations, army formations and service hospitals on ways to fight the coronavirus

All formations and bases to launch awareness campaigns about preventive measures

The advisory also says service personnel should be encouraged to utilise shopping facilities within military stations and avoid visiting crowded areas like shopping malls.

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