Navy ships to repatriate over 1800 Indians from Maldives through 4 voyages

New Delhi [India], May 09 (ANI): Indian Navy's two amphibious warships -- INS Jalashwa and INS Magar -- will make in total four voyages to repatriate over 1800 people stranded in the Maldives due to coronavirus lockdown, sources told ANI.

During the voyages, the sources said that the priority will be given to compelling cases such as medical, senior citizens, family emergencies and jobless.

Indian Navy launched 'Operation Samudra Setu' (Sea Bridge) sending naval ships Jalashwa and Magar to the Port of Male, Republic of Maldives. The two warships will make four voyages 2 to Kochi and 2 to Tuticorin.

Sources said that around 4,500 Indian community members out of approximately 27,000 have conveyed wish to travel back.

"About 4500 Indian community members out of approx. 27,000 have conveyed wish to travel back. The Indian community is spread across over 200 islands spanning about 800 km. This major evacuation exercise is being carried out when Male, the Maldives itself is under lockdown," sources said

"Total 1800-2000 Indians will be evacuated from the Maldives by INS Jalashwa and INS Magar. four voyages will be made - 2 to Kochi and 2 to Tuticorin. Priority will be given to compelling cases such as medical, senior citizens, family emergencies and jobless," they added.

INS Jalashwa has set sail from Male bringing back the first batch of Indian nationals. According to the Indian Navy, there are 698 people being brought back. Among them, 19 women are pregnant women. This includes 595 males and 103 females on board the ship.

Indian Navy has said the ships have been suitably provisioned for the evacuation operation.

The Navy said the evacuated personnel would be provided with the basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage.

This operation is being progressed in close coordination with Ministries of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments. (ANI)