Nearly 590 Indian nationals stranded in the Maldives due to COVID-19-induced international travel restrictions were evacuated on Saturday (May 16) from the island nation on INS Jalashwa, an Indian Navy warship.
In its Phase 2 of Operation Samudra Setu, INS Jalashwa left Male for Kochi with 588 Indian citizens including 70 women, 21 children and 497 men on board on Saturday morning, a Defence source said.
Op #SamudraSetu #Phase2 #INSJalashwa departs from Male with 588 Indian citizens embarked onboard#हरकामदेशकेनाम#IndiaFightsCorona#MoDAgainstCorona #MissionVandeBharat @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @HCIMaldives @MEAIndia @DDNewslive @airnewsalerts @PIB_India @MIB_India https://t.co/iFhRolXNqV pic.twitter.com/KUbchFQOyB
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 16, 2020
The ship is expected to arrive in Kochi on Sunday (May 17) morning, he said. The inclement weather prevailing in the area had delayed the process of people embarking and eventually departure of the ship.
On May 12, the vessel had successfully brought home 698 Indian nationals from Maldives to Kochi. Another Navy Ship INS Magar under ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ had evacuated 202 Indian citizens from Maldives to Kochi on Tuesday.
In a tweet, the High Commission of India in Maldives had expressed gratitude to the government of the island nation for ensuring safe repatriation of stranded Indian citizens.
We are extremely grateful to the Govt. of #Maldives and all concerned agencies in ensuring safe and secure repatriation of nearly 1500 Indian nationals from the Maldives under Op. #SamudraSetu.@ibusolih @abdulla_shahid @MariyaDidi @PoliceMv @MEAIndia @indiannavy pic.twitter.com/XcayI9ghKy
— India in Maldives (@HCIMaldives) May 15, 2020
The Indian nationals were screened medically, allotted IDs and their baggage sanitised before boarding the ship.