A medical team from India reached Italy on Friday to test stranded Indian nationals for the coronavirus so that they can be brought back.
The number of deaths from COVID-19 jumped over 5,000 on Friday as the number of cases around the world topped 1,34,000. Italy has more than 15,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths -- the most outside of China, the epicentre of the disease.
"Pleasure to welcome the medical team at the Embassy in Rome. Gearing up for the testing which starts this afternoon and will proceed through the weekend," the Indian Embassy in Rome tweeted.
Pleasure to welcome the medical team at the Embassy in Rome. Gearing up for the testing which starts this afternoon and will proceed through the weekend @MEAIndia@DrSJaishankar@harshvshringlapic.twitter.com/ldHYhhhzjG— India in Italy (@IndiainItaly) March 13, 2020
The Indian government on Wednesday said it was focusing on bringing back Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy and Iran after screening them.
The Indian mission in Rome said it was working actively with Indian ministries and local authorities in Italy to address COVID-19 situation being faced by stranded Indians.
The mission said it was in continuous touch with stranded Indians in Rome, communicating and providing regular updates to students, working with community leaders to provide material support and food.
"In view of increasing number of calls received by the two Embassy hotlines, two more lines have been added for convenience of Indian nationals requiring assistance," it said.
The embassy officials on Thursday met Indian students stranded at Rome airport and briefed them about measures being taken by the Indian government to help them.
The mission gave following helpline numbers: +39 3201749773 / +39 3248390031 / +39 3316142085 / +39 3311928713.
As per the Italian official estimates, more than 1,60,000 Indian nationals live in Italy.