Operation Samudra Setu: INS Magar arrives at Male Port, to repatriate 200 Indians

Male [Maldives], May 10 (ANI): INS Magar, the second naval ship of the Indian Navy's Operation Samudra Setu arrived at Male Port on Sunday.

INS Magar, an LST (L) designed for landing operations, had made all necessary logistic, medical and administrative preparations at the base port Kochi to accommodate civilians before setting sail towards the Maldives.

According to an official statement, the ship will evacuate about 200 citizens while ensuring all precautions related to COVID-19, including social distancing norms are followed.

"An entirely separate section of the ship with essential facilities like food and washrooms has been prepared to accommodate the evacuees and a separate mess has been allotted for ladies, infants and senior citizens," it said.

Additional precautions have been taken by dividing the evacuees into groups to avoid crowding at common areas like dining hall and bathrooms.

The first ship, INS Jalashwa reached Kochi harbour this morning with 698 Indian citizens. The ship had sailed from the Maldives on May 8 post-completion of all embarkation formalities.

The entire exercise is part of the Indian government's Vande Bharat Mission for repatriation of Indian nationals from the Middle East and the Maldives in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vande Bharat Mission was initiated to bring back around 14,800 stranded Indians from 12 countries on 64 Air India flights. (ANI)