The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu — meaning Sea Bridge — as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa sailed to the Maldives to evacuate stranded Indian nationals.
The ship arrived at the Port of Male, Republic of Maldives, on 7 May 2020. Today, it will start for Kochi, Kerala with evacuees.
Operation ‘Samudra Setu’.@indiannavy ship #INSJalashwa arrived in the Port of #Malè, #Maldives today. Phase 1 of Op #SamudraSetu would commence from tomorrow 08 May 20.#हरकामदेशकेनाम@SpokespersonMoD @MEAIndia @MoHFW_INDIA@PIBHomeAffairs@PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/zrJB42x6OQ
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 7, 2020
Amphibious ship INS Magar has also sailed to the Maldives and is on its way to Male, the navy added.
A total of 1,000 persons are planned to be evacuated during Phase-1, catering for COVID-19 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 and the evacuated personnel would be provided the basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage, the navy said.
The navy also informed that amphibious warfare vessels INS Airawat and INS Shardul are likely to proceed to the Gulf region for evacuation of Indian nationals.
Naval ships with medical teams and aid supplies have been dispatched to several countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). On their return journey, the ships will bring back Indian national evacuees from this region.
What is more, Indian Armed Forces have kept in readiness six quarantine facilities that can accommodate up to 2,100 Indians being evacuated from several countries. The evacuees stranded due to COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Malaysia will be housed in the quarantine facilities maintained by the three services — the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bhopal, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
The evacuees will undergo mandatory quarantine as per the SOPs in the following quarantine facilities after which further necessary action will be taken for their onward journey as per the approved SOPs.