Indian Navy has launched the Samudra Sethu operation in May to evacuate Indians stranded in foreign countries following the global lockdown due to the spread of Covid19 virus. Indian Naval ships Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2874 personnel from the Maldives and Sri Lanka earlier to the ports of Kochi and Tuticorin.
The Indian Naval Ship Shardul to start carrying Indians today as part of its second phase of Samudra Sethu Operation from the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran to Porbandar in Gujarath. The Indian Mission in the Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing a list of Indian citizens to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening.
COVID-related social distancing norms have been catered onboard INS Shardul and the ship has been specially provisioned for the evacuation operation, including embarkation of additional medical staff, doctors, hygienists, nutritionists, medical stores, rations, personal protective equipment, face-masks, lifesaving gear etc. In addition to the authorised medical outfit, medical equipment specific to dealing with COVID-19 including innovative products developed by the Indian Navy during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is also being carried on board, said the source in Indian Navy.
The evacuated personnel would be provided with the basic amenities and medical facilities whilst undertaking the sea-passage to Porbandar. Special isolation compartments have also been earmarked for any contingencies. In view of the unique challenges associated with COVID-19 including asymptomatic carriers, stringent protocols are being stipulated during the passage, said the navy adding that the evacuated personnel will be entrusted to the care of State authorities on embarking at the Porbandar port.