First group of Iranian students stuck in China’s Wuhan return home

FNA – The first group of 70 remaining students stuck in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus epidemic, have arrived in Tehran and will be kept in quarantine for several days, a Science Ministry official announced on Wednesday.

“The first group of Iranian students who had requested emergency flight to home because of coronavirus epidemic in the Chinese city of Wuhan have arrived in Tehran this morning,” Deputy Science Minister for Students Mojtaba Seddiqi said this morning at the 65th meeting of Iranian academic officials.

The official added that the returned students will be kept in quarantine till it is reassured that they have not been affected by the disease.

Late on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said that the plane carrying Iranian students left China’s Wuhan for Tehran minutes ago.

“We thank the Almighty God that Iranian students are returning home in perfect healthy situation from China’s Wuhan, home to the outbreak of coronavirus, at the unsparing and unflinching effort of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Iranian Embassy to China,” Mousavi added.

He also seized this opportunity to express his thanks to the close cooperation of all responsible organizations especially the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Iran’s Mahan Airline and crew members of this private flight.

On Monday, head of the Affiliation Center for Disease Control of Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education Mohammad Mehdi Gouya said no Iranian student in Wuhan has been infected with the coronavirus.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said flights to China had been suspended after several lawmakers complained that Mahan Airlines was continuing to fly to the Asian country.

Jafarzadeh said possible flights to China were being conducted in coordination with the ministry of health to transport Iranians residing in China and Chinese residing in Iran.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that Iran was willing to work together with China to combat the epidemic caused by the coronavirus.

Zarif also lauded the Chinese government for taking “timely and resolute measures in a responsible and transparent manner” to fight the epidemic, saying they have prevented not only a deterioration of the outbreak within China but also across the world.

The minister said Iran has provided China with some urgently needed medical supplies, and stands ready to offer more assistance.

Wang thanked Iran for providing China with medical supplies at the critical moment of epidemic prevention and control. He also praised Zarif as the first foreign minister publicly voicing support for China, saying it showed the friendship of the two nations, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Chinese foreign minister said his country has established a nationwide system to fight the epidemic, stressing that Beijing has full confidence and ability to win the fight against the virus.

Zarif said Iran also believes China will overcome the epidemic. He said the Islamic Republic firmly opposes some Western countries’ attempt to exploit the situation.

On Friday, Head of Iran’s Emergency Medical Services Pirhossein Kowlivand had said that the Iranian students residing in China will be returned home by a special aircraft so that they will not be infected with the disease.

Addressing Tehran province’s special working group of coronavirus, he added that the province is in charge of housing the students after arriving in the country and it will prepare suitable environment for them.

Under the current situation, one cannot hide somebody’s illness and proper policies should be adopted, he said, adding that appropriate place should be considered to quarantine these students.