Indian Navy’s warship INS Shardul, which has been deployed to bring back the stranded citizens from Iran, started its pre-embarkation preparations on Monday.
“INS Shardul is at Bandar Abbas, Iran. Pre-embarkation preparations by ship’s crew, checks, briefings followed by embarkation being progressed,” tweeted the Indian Navy.
As part of the ‘Operation Samudra Setu’, which itself is a part of Vande Bharat Mission to bring back citizens stranded overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Navy has deployed INS Shardul to evacuate Indians from Iran on Monday to bring them back to Gujarat.
“The Indian Naval Ship Shardul will evacuate Indian citizens from the port of Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Porbandar, Gujarat. The Indian Mission in Iran is preparing a list of Indian citizens to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening,” the Indian Navy said.
The Navy said that COVID-19 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 and other lifesaving gear.
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 coronavirus crisis is also being carried onboard.
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.
After disembarkation at Porbandar, the evacuated personnel will be entrusted to the care of state authorities.
The Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu on May 8 to repatriate Indian citizens. INS Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2,874 personnel from the Maldives and Sri Lanka to ports of Kochi and Tuticorin.
Asian News International