India has started clearing its citizens from coronavirus-hit Iran. A C-17 Globemaster, the biggest plane within the Indian Air Force cleared out UP’s Hindon airbase for Tehran on Monday night, the IAF said. Up to 2,000 citizens, primarily pilgrims and students are assessed to be stranded in Iran, which enlisted more than 7,000 cases and 230 deaths from coronavirus. The evacuees will be isolated at the Hindon airbase itself. Prior this year, Air India had worked two flights to airdrop Indians in China.
Around 2,000 Indians are living in Iran, a nation that has seen increasing numbers of coronavirus cases within the last few days. Arun Sahgal, Director, Forum for Strategic Initiatives and Senior Fellow Delhi Policy Group, New Delhi said, “IAF, has the planes and the discipline plus capability to execute this task. These are normal for services. Please do not glorify. No doubt they will be accompanied by a very capable team of doctors to prevent patients and crew coming in harms way.”
It is the second such clearing by the C-17 Globemaster in the last two weeks. On February 27, 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals were brought back from the Chinese city of Wuhan by the airplane of the Indian Air Force. Sampath Kumar.g, IPS stated, “Indian Air Force special flight carrying medical relief for COVID19 lands in Wuhan, China. C-17 Globemaster III airlifted approximately 15 tonnes of medical supplies as a goodwill gesture from Government of India.On its return, same aircraft will retrieve approximately 120 personnel + 05 children in arms from Wuhan.”
Mangesh Kashinath Vakade, General Manager(Engg)- Flight Safety at Air India Limited & Dy. Chief of Flight Safety felt, “Air India & it’s staff has helped country in many rescue missions to evacuate Indian fellow Citizens stuck into crisis. Just to help & rescue our Indian fellow citizens from these danger zones. Without second thought all staff came forward during that crisis to extended full support by taking life-threatening risk. Till date, none of Private Airlines & Foreign Airlines came forward for rescuing operations who all have a major share of Indian passengers.Such situations may arise tomorrow in USA or Canada or Australia or anywhere…due Civil war, Conflict or Natural calamity, Virus etc..”
The C-17 Globemaster can carry huge combat gear, troops and help over long distances in all climate conditions. Four days prior, a Mahan aircraft plane brought swab tests of 300 Indians from Iran to India.