Navy begins repatriating Indians, Maldives one of the first countries
The Indian Navy’s amphibious warship, INS Jalashwa, arrived in Male on Thursday to bring back 1,000 Indian citizens, who have been stranded in the island nation.
“#INSJalashwa entering Male’ port for the 1st phase under Operation #SamudraSetu to repatriate Indians from Maldives,” High Commission of India in the Maldives said on Twitter.
The repatriation process is a part of the Navy’s ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ and is progressing in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments.
Another warship INS Magar is also on way to the Maldives. The evacuation operations are due to begin from May 8, 2020, as part of Phase-1, according to Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal.
“The Indian Navy has been directed to make suitable preparations for their evacuation by sea,” Madhwal had said on Tuesday.
He also said that a total of 1,000 persons were being planned to be evacuated during the first trip, catering to Covid-related social distancing norms vis-a-vis the carrying capacity and medical facilities available onboard.
The ships have been suitably provisioned for the evacuation operation.
The Navy said the evacuated persons would be provided with the basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage.
“In view of the unique challenges associated with Covid-19 stringent protocols have also been stipulated,” he added.
The evacuated perasons will be disembarked at Kochi in Kerala and entrusted to the care of state authorities.