New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S Jaishankar on Thursday described the coronavirus situation as 'matter of huge concern' as the number of confirmed cases in India climbed to 73.

Speaking during a debate at the Lok Sabha, Jaishankar said that the coronavirus situation is an "exceptional situation" and it requires "exceptional response", urging people to avoid non-essential travel. 

"Where communities are understandably anxious, we should reassure them and encourage the observants of globally recognised precautions and procedures. An excessive sense of alarm would only be to the detriment of those who are really in it," Jaishankar said, as quoted by news agency ANI.

Talking about the stranded Indians in virus-hit Iran, Jaishankar said that the government would facilitate the earliest possible return of people there, adding that 6,000 Indian nationals are stranded in various provinces of Iran.

Jaishankar said that the "initial focus is on bringing back pilgrims, mostly stranded in Qom" while adding that the government is also working with Indian authorities to look at the possibility of operating limited commercial flights.

"As per available information there are about 6,000 Indian nationals in various provinces of Iran, including 1,100 pilgrims mainly from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra, nearly 300 students primarily from Jammu and Kashmir," ANI quoted Jaishankar as saying.

"I visited Srinagar recently and took the initiative to meet the parents of some of the students who are in Iran. Their anxiety at this time is completely understandable. I shared with them in details, the ground situation and sought their understanding," he added.

He also spoke about the Indians strandard in Italy and said that the government is trying to find a way to help them and bring them back.

"We're at it. Please understand that we can only bring them back if they are tested,they've to be tested. To test them, we've started sampling today as we can't bring back untested people in very severe epidemic situation as I have responsibility of this country to worry about," he said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma