Thu, 02 Jul 2020

New Delhi [India], May 30 (ANI): The next phase of Operation 'Samudra Setu' to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas will commence on June 1, said Defence Ministry here on Saturday.

"In this phase, Indian Navy Ship Jalashwa will repatriate 700 personnel from Colombo to Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu and subsequently repatriate another 700 personnel from Male to Tuticorin," said the Ministry in a release.

Indian Navy has already repatriated 1,488 Indian nationals from Male to Kochi during the previous phase of operations.

"Indian Missions in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are preparing a list of Indian nationals to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening. COVID-related social distancing norms have been catered onboard and evacuees would be provided basic amenities and medical facilities during the sea-passage," said the Ministry.

After disembarkation at Tuticorin, the evacuated personnel will be entrusted to the care of State authorities.

The operation is being progressed in 'close coordination' with Ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, Health and various other agencies of the Government of India and State governments.

Under naval repatriation exercise, the vessel had earlier evacuated stranded Indians from the Maldives on May 8 and May 16 since the COVID-19 induced lockdown came into force in India on March 25.

The entire process is a part of the Central government's Vande Bharat Mission for the repatriation of stranded Indian nationals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)

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