Lockdown: Indian mission in Maldives gears up for evacuation process of stranded citizens under Operation Samudra Setu
The Indian diplomatic mission in the Maldives have started preparing for the repatriation procedures of stranded citizens who will be evacuated later on Friday by the Indian Navy's INS Jalashwa under Operation Samudra Setu.
The High Commission of India in the Maldives tweeted the first visuals of Indian nationals arriving at the Ferry Terminal in Male.
"Well-begun is half done! First visuals of Indian nationals arriving at the Ferry Terminal in Male to go through necessary checks and procedures as they prepare for evacuation by INS Jalashwa later today under Operation Samudra Setu," it tweeted.
The High Commission officials and volunteers are in full protective gear to discharge their duties in a safe and orderly manner for the evacuation of Indians from the Maldives under the operation, the High Commission said.
The Navy will be evacuating around 2,000 Indian nationals from the Maldives from today.
"The evacuation operation will be conducted in two phases, first to Kochi (Kerala) and second to Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu). It will be a big relief for Indians here," Indian envoy to the Maldives, Sanjay Sudhir, said on Thursday.
The Indian Navy's amphibious warship, INS Jalashwa, arrived in Male on Thursday to bring back 1,000 Indian citizens, at a time, who have been stranded in the island nation due to the COVID-19 lockdown put in place to check coronavirus spread.
"INS Jalashwa entering Male' port for the 1st phase under Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate Indians from the Maldives," High Commission of India in the Maldives said on Twitter.
The repatriation process is a part of the Navy's Operation Samudra Setu and is progressing in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Centre and state governments.
Another amphibious warship INS Magar is also on way to the Maldives to evacuate Indian nationals.
The French Navy is also cooperating with the Indian Navy in the Samudra Setu and Resilience operations, respectively, to aid the people facing the ordeal of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy of France in New Delhi said on Thursday.