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New Delhi, June 7, 2020
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Shardul will today evacuate stranded Indian citizens from the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran and carry them to Porbandar in Gujarat.
The mission is part of the Indian Navy's Opeation Samudra Setu launched from May 8 to repatriate by sea Indians stranded abroad during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Indian naval ships Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2,874 persons from the Maldives and Sri Lanka to Kochi in Kerala and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
An official press release said the Indian embassy in Iran is preparing a list of Indian citizens to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after the requisite medical screening.
COVID-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, lifesaving gear, and so on.
In addition to authorised medical outfit, medical equipment specific to dealing with COVID-19 including innovative products developed by the Indian Navy during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is also being carried onboard.
The evacuated personnel would be provided basic amenities and medical facilities during the passage to Porbandar. Special isolation compartments have 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, the release said.
After disembarkation at Porbandar, the evacuated persons will be entrusted to the care of State authorities, it added.