Indian health ministry officials have stated that a team of doctors will be sent to Italy on Thursday to collect swab samples of Indian students stuck in the country before bringing them back to India.
The team of four doctors consisting of two microbiologists and two public health specialists from the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will depart for Rome on Thursday night.
The Indian Embassy in Italy has contacted Indian students in the country and asked them to gather at a designated venue for sampling collecting exercise. Over 300 Indian students are stuck, an official said.
Over 70 Indians, including students, have been stranded in Italy as they do not have COVID-19 negative certificates. They appealed the government to withdraw mandatory order.
When asked about the response from the Indian Embassy, the stranded Indians stated that the Embassy was discussing the matter with the government, but so far there was no word from them. They also informed that the Air India staff was unwilling to let the students board the flight.
The deadly coronavirus outbreak has already killed 631 people in Italy. According to reports, Italy has become the epicentre of the viral outbreak in Europe and the country has recently announced a nationwide lockdown to help control the spread.
So far, India has evacuated 948 passengers from COVID-19-affected countries. Out of these, 900 are Indian citizens and 48 belonging to countries like Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, USA, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, and Peru, it said.
The government on Wednesday asserted that it was focusing on bringing Indians stuck in Italy and Iran facing "extreme situation".
As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in India has risen to 60 after 10 new positive cases were reported from Delhi, Rajasthan and Kerala being, the ministry said.