Mission Sagar: India sends INS Kesari with medical teams, food to Indian Ocean countries

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New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): India on Sunday dispatched INS Kesari, carrying on board two medical assistance teams, medicines and essential food items, to countries in the southern Indian Ocean as part of the government's 'Mission Sagar' initiative. The countries including Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles had requested India for assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical assistance teams will be deployed in Mauritius and Comoros, helping their governments deal with COVID emergency and dengue fever (in case of Comoros), the Ministry of External Affairs said. The ship will deliver consignments of COVID related essential medicines to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles and about 600 tonnes of food items to the Maldives. In addition, in the case of Mauritius, a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines is also being sent, the ministry further stated. The consignments meant for Madagascar and Comoros also includes Hydroxychloroquine tablets, which have already been sent earlier to Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles. In line with its time-tested role as the first responder in the region, India has already supported the efforts of the governments of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles by providing them consignments of COVID-19 related essential medicines. A team of select medical personnel was also dispatched to the Maldives to augment the preparedness of the Maldivian government to fight this crisis, the ministry said. 'Mission Sagar' is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of SAGAR -- Security and Growth for All in the Region. Earlier today, Indian Navy's INS Jalashwa arrived at Kochi Harbour bringing back 698 Indian nationals, who were stranded in the Maldivian capital of Male, as part of Operation Samudra Setu. (ANI)