COVID-19: many fishermen from State stranded in Iran

Scores of fishermen from the State are among the large number of Indian fishermen feared trapped in Iran following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak there.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Union Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar requesting him to direct the Indian Embassy in Tehran to arrange for their safe return. In his letter, the Chief Minister said the State had received information that “more than a hundred” Indian fishermen were trapped in a place called ‘Azalur.’

Of this, 60 were reportedly from Kerala, Mr. Vijayan said.

Meanwhile, Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma said steps were being taken to collect the details of fishermen from the State and transfer it to the Indian Embassy. Airlifting the men out of Iran may be fraught with difficulties in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the embassy had been requested to urgently provide food and water to them, she said.

“We were informed that around 800 Indians are stranded in Iran. We are collecting the details of the Keralites,” the Minister said.

Reportedly, 17 of the men are from Thiruvananthapuram district. According to a Facebook video, several men from Vizhinjam, Marianadu and Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala and Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu are among the stranded.

The Facebook video showed fishermen pleading for government assistance to return home to their families. According to them, they were stuck in their rooms due to the outbreak of the disease and faced difficulties in obtaining food and water. They were also unable to contact other Indians due to their confinement to their places of accommodation, they said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 3:02:53 AM |

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