The government on Thursday said one Indian national infected with coronavirus in Iran has died, the first death of an Indian outside the country due to the pandemic.
Other Indian citizens infected with the disease in Iran are being provided treatment and taken care of by the Iranian government, the government said.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday had informed Lok Sabha that as many as 276 Indians have been infected with coronavirus abroad, including 255 in Iran, 12 in UAE, five in Italy, and one each in Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda and Sri Lanka.
Asked whether any Indian infected with coronavirus has died in Iran, Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary in the MEA and the coordinator for COVID-19, answered in the affirmative. He said the deceased was an elderly person aged over 70 years and had health-related complications.
Mr Dammu, however, said the death was not because of lack of medical attention or care provided in that country. The virus tends to be more fatal for those whose immunity levels are low, he said.
Sources said this is first death of an Indian national outside the country due to the coronavirus.
They said all Indian staffers at the country's mission in Iran have tested negative for COVID-19.
"We have evacuated 590 people from Iran where the situation is very severe. The Indians infected with coronavirus in Iran have been segregated and taken care of very well by the government there. We believe they will recover and we will bring them back," Mr Ravi said, adding that 201 Indians were evacuated from Iran on Wednesday.
Closely knit families required some persuasion and counselling during the process of segregation to prevent the spread of the contagion, he said.
The Indian ambassador and other officials explained the consequences of infected people not being separated from their families and were successful to a large extent in segregating the positive cases from the negative ones, he said.
At an earlier briefing of the MEA, Mr Ravi said the situation is "very severe" in Iran.
On the Indians who have tested positive for coronavirus, Mr Ravi said, "Let me assure you that our ambassador, the mission, is completely in control of the situation."
"They (Indians) are very well taken care of. They have been segregated, they have been assisted and we believe that in the times to come they will improve, they will recover fully and we will be able to bring them back," he said.
Asked about US' sanctions on Iran, Mr Ravi said it is a bilateral issue.
He said Indian mission in Iran has also reached out to Indians stranded on the Kish island in Iran.