THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Indian fishermen stranded in Iran after the country declared health emergency due to coronavirus outbreak last week are hopeful of being airlifted and brought home soon.
Their hopes were raised after India on Monday decided to send its largest transport flight to airlift stranded Indians.
Apart from fishermen, several students and pilgrims on Qom visit are also stranded in Iran, which is one of worst COVID 19-affected countries
“We are yet to get any assurance from the embassy. But we are hopeful of going home soon,” said Jagajeevan Netto, one of the fishermen from Thiruvananthapuram, in a voice message to his father James Netto.
Jagajeevan is among the 60 fishermen from Kerala stranded in various coastal areas of Iran. There are hundreds of others from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat as well. They went to Iran on fishermen visa four months ago.
The fishermen had complained that the Indian embassy in Bandar Abbas did not enquire about their well being. “We are running short of food. We do not know how we are going to survive,” said Jagajeevan. According to James, the fishermen made an attempt to go out, but the police arrested their captain. “They were threatened that their phones would be confiscated if they go out,” said James.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted the embassy continued to maintain close contact with fishermen. “No case of corona reported among them. Will continue to monitor their welfare,” tweeted the minister.