SRINAGAR: Waiting for a rescue flight for more than three weeks, at least three pilgrims stuck in Iran are reported dead. All the three are from Ladakh, the news website The Wire reported.
Last week, the Government of India confirmed that around 225 citizens from India, mostly the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, were tested positive. They were mostly in Qom, the scared town for Shia Muslims, which emerged as the min epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Wire quoted a travel agent from Ladakh, Gulzar Balaghi, confirming the deaths from Iran. Balagi is also in Iran along with is group of pilgrims.
The first death, Balagi said was that of a 60-year old lady who died in a hospital in Qom. That took place in the first week of March. Two others came between March 12 and 20, the report said. One of them died in a Mashhad pilgrim toupilphospital and another one was having underlying cardiac issues. Balgai said the Iran officials did not gave them any detail about the second death.
Confirming the deaths, Feroz Khan, chief executive councillor of Ladakh Hill Autonomous Development Council (LAHDC) in Kargil said the dead trio were from Kargil. One died in Mashhad and two in Qom, he said.
Though the Government has already made it public that any Indian citizen confirming positive in Iran will not be flown back. It has, however, flown home a number of individuals including students who had tested negative. The Wire reports said around 780 pilgrims from Ladakh are stranded in Iran, mostly in Qom.
The stranded pilgrims have accused the External Affairs Ministry of abandoning them. Iran has lost more than 1800 of its people to the viral infection even as more than 12000 are battling for life. Owing to the American sanctions, Iran is the only country that is unable to access any medical help or financial help from anywhere across the world.