New Delhi (India), May 5 (ANI): The Indian Navy has launched 'Operation Samudra Setu' under which two amphibious warships -- INS Jalashwa and INS Magar -- are sailing towards Male to bring back 1,000 Indian citizens.
"Indian Naval ships Jalashwa and Magar are presently en-route to the port of Male, Republic of Maldives, to commence evacuation operations from 08 May 2020 as part of Phase-1," said Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal on Tuesday.
He said that the government has been closely monitoring the situation with respect to the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on our citizens abroad.
"The Indian Navy has been directed to make suitable preparations for their evacuation by sea," said Commander Madhwal.
He said the Indian Mission in the Republic of Maldives is preparing a list of Indian nationals to be evacuated by Naval ships and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening.
Madhwal said a total of 1,000 persons are 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 personnel 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 said.
The evacuated personnel will be disembarked at Kochi in Kerala and entrusted to the care of State authorities.
The Navy said the operation is being progressed in close coordination with Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments. (ANI)