A medical team from India reached Italy on Friday to test stranded Indian citizens for the corona virus so that they could be returned.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 rose to over 5,000 on Friday as the number of cases worldwide exceeded 1.34,000. Italy has more than 15,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths – most outside of China, the epicenter of the disease.
"I am pleased to welcome the medical team to the embassy in Rome. Prepare for the tests that will start this afternoon and will last over the weekend," tweeted the Indian embassy in Rome.
I am pleased to welcome the medical team to the embassy in Rome. Prepare for the tests starting this afternoon and continuing over the weekend @ MEAIndia @ DrSJaishankar @ harschvshringlapic.twitter.com / ldHYhhhzjG
– India in Italy (@IndiainItaly) March 13, 2020
The Indian government said Wednesday that it is concentrating on bringing back Indians who have been stranded in coronavirus-affected Italy and Iran after investigating them.
The Indian mission in Rome said it was actively working with Indian ministries and local authorities in Italy to address the COVID-19 situation of stranded Indians.
The mission said it was in constant contact with stranded Indians in Rome, communicated and provided information to students on a regular basis, and worked with community leaders to provide material support and food.
"Given the increasing number of calls coming to the embassy's two hotlines, two more lines have been added to make work easier for Indian nationals who need help," it said.
Embassy officials met Indian students stranded at Rome airport on Thursday, informing them of measures the Indian government had taken to help them.
The mission provided the following helpline numbers: +39 3201749773 / +39 3248390031 / +39 3316142085 / +39 3311928713.
According to Italy's official estimates, more than 1.60,000 Indian citizens live in Italy.