The Indian Navy has concluded its ‘Operation Samudra Setu’, a mission to bring home Indian citizens from foreign countries who were facing hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ANI reported on Wednesday, 8 July.
In total, the Navy is reported to have repatriated 3,992 Indian citizens by sea. Four Navy ships picked up Indians from Male in the Maldives, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Bandar Abbas in Iran. The passengers disembarked at Kochi, Tuticorin and Porbandar.
The majority of citizens repatriated under this operation, which ran alongside with the Vande Bharat mission bringing back Indians by plane, boarded the ships at Male. The last batch of citizens landed on 1 July.
Operation Samudra Setu, which was launched on 5th May 2020 as part of the national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic has culminated after successfully bringing 3,992 Indian citizens back to their homeland by sea: Indian Navy pic.twitter.com/gRNFR9qZfJ— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2020
DETAILS OF OPERATION SAMUDRA SETU
The Indian Navy launched the operation on 5 May, with evacuations from the Maldives the first phase of the plan. The term ‘Samudra Setu’ means ‘Sea Bridge’ in Hindi.
The INS Jalashwa picked up the first group of citizens, numbering 698, from Male on 8 May.
The four Navy ships involved were the INS Jalashwa, INS Magar, INS Airavat and INS Shardul.
2,386 people were brought back to India from the Maldives, 686 from Sri Lanka, and 920 from Iran. The final ship left Bandar Abbas on 25 June and arrived at Tuticorin on 1 July.
Each ship was fully equipped with medical supplies, doctors, hygienists and nutritionists. Passengers were allowed on board after medical screening, and maintained on the ships following appropriate COVID-19 protocols.
The Indian Navy had also announced that it would be carrying some of their own special equipment prepared for tackling the coronavirus on board these ships.
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