A total of 1,036 Indian nationals were evacuated in five batches to India post-testing for Coronavirus in Iran, a Defence spokesperson said on Tuesday. Three batches were brought to Jaisalmer and two to Jodhpur.
"Upon arrival, they were quarantined for 14 days as per ICMR protocol at the Army Wellness Facilities at Jaisalmer and Jodhpur which were created by vacating living barracks of the troops," said Sombit Ghosh, PRO Defence, Rajasthan.
On completion of the quarantine period, the evacuees were tested for the first time in India at AlIMS, Jodhpur, wherein out of the 236 evacuees of the first batch, 15 asymptomatic persons tested positive from March 28 onwards. The statement said that the complete second batch of 53 students tested negative on March 29, and efforts are underway to ensure their earliest return home.
In the third batch of 195 evacuees, only two persons have tested positive so far. In the case of Jodhpur facility, proactive testing by the Army in the initial days itself led to the identification of 19 positive cases out of the total 552 evacuees, who have been isolated at AIIMS and MDM hospitals Jodhpur, while the rest are undergoing quarantine at the Army facility.
"As a consequence of the Army's diligent and systematic efforts, the asymptomatic evacuees who tested positive have been prevented from becoming vehicles of contamination to other parts of the nation," the statement added. As per ICMR directive, the quarantine period of batch one and three have been extended by another 14 days and even smaller clusters of 25-50 people have been made to further reduce the chances of community spread and ensure their early return home.
The total number of positive cases reached 4,789 on Tuesday, the 14th day of lockdown. According to the latest update of the Health Ministry, there are 4,312 active cases, 352 persons have been cured or discharged (one migrated) and 124 have died.
(With ANI inputs)