Vande Bharat Mission: INS Jalashwa brings back 698 Indians from Maldives under Operation Samudra Setu

10 May, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

Vande Bharat Mission National

INS Jalashwa reached Kochi on Sunday with 698 stranded Indians, who were evacuated from Male, Maldives under Operation Samudra Setu. Indian Navy has assured that all the necessary precautions were ...

INS Jalashwa, which sailed from Maldives on May 8 with 698 stranded Indian nationals, entered Kochi harbor on Sunday. “The INS Jalashwa, deployed for “Operation Samudra Setu”, entered Kochi harbour at around 10:00 am on 10 May with a total of 698 Indian nationals stranded at Maldives, which included women, elderly people and children,” Indian Navy release said in a release. The ship had sailed from Maldives, May 8 post completion of all embarkation formalities.

The Indian Navy said all necessary measures were taken by the respective teams to ensure safe embarkation with minimal social contact. “Adequate care was also taken to cater for the old aged people, pregnant ladies and children in arms during the trip. All the passengers were handled by trained Indian Navy personnel donning Personal Protective Equipment. The evacuation operation was conducted in accordance with all Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and guidelines issued by the Government of India.”

Of the 698 persons – 440 were from Kerala; 187 from Tamil Nadu; 8 from Karnataka, nine from Telangana; eight from Andhra Pradesh; one from Goa; two from UP; four from Lakshadweep; one from Assam; three from Haryana; seven each from Uttarakhand and West Bengal; three each from Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh; two each from Jharkhand, Odisha, Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh and four from Delhi.

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The passengers were received, by the naval and civil administration authorities present at the Cruise Terminal of Cochin Port Trust, where the ship has berthed.

“Extensive arrangements have been put in place by the State Government for speedy completion of CoViD screening and immigration formalities at the Cruise Terminal,” the release said while adding that glassed counters have been set up at the terminal in accordance with medical protocol for Customs, Immigration, Police, Health department, BSNL and District Administration.

INS Jalashwa, based at Visakhapatnam has been at the forefront of similar evacuation efforts of Indian nationals and major Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts of the Indian Navy. The ship is designed to carry troops and the facilities onboard were modified for the ongoing evacuation. It is manned by trained medical teams of the Indian Navy, specifically embarked for the ongoing Operation.

The repatriation process by the warship is a part ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in the island nation during the COVID-19 lockdown. The entire exercise is part of Vande Bharat Mission of the Government of India for repatriation of Indian nationals from the Middle East and Maldives in the backdrop of CoViD 19 pandemic.

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