New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) INS Magar, the second ship of the Indian Navy, arrived at Male port on Sunday to evacuate stranded Indian nationals from the Maldives.
In addition to it as part of the Indian government’s outreach amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, INS Kesari has departed for the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide food items, and COVID related medicines.
INS Magar, a Landing Ship Tank, designed for landing operations, had made all necessary logistic, medical and administrative preparations at her base port Kochi to comfortably accommodate civilians before setting sail towards Maldives.
The ship will evacuate about 200 citizens while ensuring all precautions related to COVID-19 including social distancing norms are followed.
An entirely separate section of the ship with essential facilities like food and washrooms has been prepared to accommodate the evacuees and a separate mess has been allotted for women, infants and senior citizens.
“Additional precautions have been taken by dividing the evacuees into groups to avoid crowding at common areas like dining hall, and bathrooms,” Indian Navy said.
Concurrently, the first ship carrying evacuees from Maldives, INS Jalashwa reached Kochi harbour this morning with 698 Indian citizens. Out of 698 citizens, 595 are male and 103 are female. The ship also brought 19 pregnant women.
Moreover, as per Indian government outreach programme, INS Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide food items, COVID related medicines, including Hydroxychloroquine tablets and special ayurvedic medicines with medical assistance teams.
This deployment as ‘Mission Sagar’, is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between these countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
“The deployment is in consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond,” Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
H said that the operation is being conducted in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the government of India.
As part of Mission Sagar, INS Kesari would enter the Port of Male in Republic of Maldives, to provide them 600 tonnes of food provisions.
India and Maldives are close maritime neighbours with strong and extremely cordial defence and diplomatic relations.