Warships to evacuate 1,000 from the Maldives

NEW DELHI: About 1,000 stranded will be brought home from Maldives by two amphibians in phase I of the major evacuation operation called Samudra Setu (sea bridge) launched by the Navy on Tuesday.

The two warships, the 1,900-ton INS Jalashwa and the 5,750-ton INS Magar, will arrive in Male on May 8 and 10, respectively. The warships, which have medical facilities on board and will adhere to the strict social distancing related to Covid and other protocols, will then return to disembark the nearly 1,000 evacuees in Kochi (Kerala) Evacuees will be entrusted to the care of state authorities, said Navy spokesman Commander Vivek Madhwal.

Under the overall operation, the Navy is also keeping 12 other warships on standby for the proposed mass evacuation of Indians from the Gulf region. Two of them are already at sea, and will go to the UAE if the government decides to deploy them there.

In Maldives , the India n mission is preparing a list of India n nationals to be evacuated by the first two naval warships and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening.

“Warships have been adequately provisioned for the evacuation operation. Evacuees would receive basic services and medical facilities during the passage through the sea. In view of the unique challenges associated with strict Covid-19 protocols, they have also been stipulated, ”said Commander Madhwal.