INS Jalashwa casts off from Male for Kochi with 588 stranded Indians on board
New Delhi, May 16, 2020
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Jalashwa cast off from Male in the Maldives this morning for Kochi in Kerala carrying back home 588 Indians who were stranded in the island-nation due to the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In the second phase of the Indian Navy's Operation Samudra Setu to bring back stranded Indian citizens from abroad by sea, INS Jalashwa completed embarkation of the 588 Indians at Port Male yesterday.
Her manifest of 588 includes six pregnant women and 21 children, an official press release said.
"Braving rain and winds gusting to 30-40 knots at Male, the ship staff ensured completion of all formalities for the manifested passengers while observing safety and medical protocols at all times. The inclement weather hampered the planned embarkation process requiring various pre-embarkation activities to be done onboard the ship itself," the release added.
In the first phase of Operation Samudra Setu, INS Jalashwa had carried 698 Indians from the Maldives and reached Kochi last Sunday.
That first group of 698 had consisted of 595 males and 103 females, including 14 children below 10 years of age and 19 pregnant women.
The 698 passengers had included 440 from Kerala, 156 from Tamil Nadu and the rest were from other states in the country.
The distance between Male and Kochi is 493 nautical miles.
INS Jalashwa is an Indian naval ship attached to the Eastern Naval Command. It was acquired from the United States and was commissioned in 2007.
INS Jalashwa has capacity to accommodate 1000 troops, and comes equipped with extensive medical facilities, including four operation theatres, and a 12-bed ward facility.
Also last week, INS Magar had carried 202 Indians from Male to Kochi. They included 24 women, two of whom were pregnant, and two children. One of the men had a fractured leg.