Total cases reach 56 in India as nine tested positive in Kerala, Karnataka

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A military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) brought back 58 Indians from coronavirus-hit Iran on Tuesday, official said.

The aircraft, a C-17 Globemaster, was sent to Tehran on Monday evening.

About 2,000 Indians are living in Iran, a country that has witnessed increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in the last few days.

“The IAF aircraft has landed. Mission completed. On to the next,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

In an earlier tweet, he said, “First batch of 58 Indian pilgrims being brought back from Iran. IAF C-17 taken off from Tehran and expected to land soon in Hindon.”

“Thanks to the efforts of our Embassy @India_in_Iran and Indian medical team there, operating under challenging conditions. Thank you @IAF_MCC. Appreciate cooperation of Iranian authorities. We are working on the return of other Indians stranded there (sic),” Jaishankar added.

The aircraft landed at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, from where the passengers were taken to a medical facility.

On the other hand, seven new cases of novel coronavirus have been reported in the country, taking the number of confirmed cases to 47, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.

A new case each has been reported from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Ernakulam in Kerala, Jammu, Bengaluru in Karnataka, Punjab and Pune, the ministry said, adding that no deaths due to the coronavirus had been reported yet in the country.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization warned that there was now a “very real” threat that the global outbreak of the new deadly virus will become a pandemic, but stressed the virus could still be controlled.

“The threat of a pandemic has become very real,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, while stressing that “it would be the first pandemic in history that can be controlled… we are not at the mercy of the virus”.

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