Indian Navy ship INS Jalashwa on Monday will sail from Colombo Port to bring back 700 stranded Indians as part of the "Vande Bharat" mission under the second phase of Operation "Samudra Setu'.'
This morning, the vessel reached Colombo Port and will depart for Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, with passengers. According to the Indian Navy, it will later repatriate another 700 personnel from Malé in the Maldives to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
The ship is specifically divided into three zones-red, orange and green to meet the present requirements of maintaining social distancing and health protocols.
"The guidelines for safety against COVID-19 and the protocols for the same are being promulgated by the naval headquarters and the commands respectively," Commander Gaurav Durgapal, Executive Officer on INS Jalashwa, told ANI.
COVID-19-related precautions were ensured for those on board, such as social distancing norms. Evacuees are subject to the medical screening required, and those asymptomatic ones have been allowed to embark.
At the time of embarkation, those being repatriated are given a new mask, followed by a new mask every day until they reach their designated port Tuticorin. Hand sanitizer for the evacuees are available at the aid desk and medical desk.
In a measure to contain the spread of the virus, if any, the sailors and officers who interact with the evacuees have donned personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. Strict protocols are also observed while the PPE kit is removed.
To date, Operation Samudra Setu under Vande Bharat has facilitated more than 1,000 evacuees from Malé during operations between May 8 and May 16.
As part of the naval repatriation exercise Phase II, INS Jalashwa would travel to Malé (Maldives) and Bandar Abbas (Iran) on evacuation missions on Friday and preparations regarding are also on.