Samudra Setu: Indian Navy Commences evacuation of citizens from Iran

As a part of the evacuation process amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the Indian Navy has deployed its warship INS Shardul to evacuate Indians from Iran.

According to the official release, Indian Naval Ship Shardul will evacuate Indian citizens on June 8 from the port of Bandar Abbas, Islamic Republic of Iran, to Porbandar, Gujarat. The Indian Mission in Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing a list of Indian citizens to be evacuated and will facilitate their embarkation after 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 etc. 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 statement said.

The evacuated personnel would be provided 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, it said.

After disembarkation at Porbandar, the evacuated personnel will be entrusted to the care of State authorities, it added.

Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu to repatriate Indian citizens commencing May 8. Indian Naval ships Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2874 Indian citizens, stranded in Maldives and Sri Lanka to ports of Kochi and Tuticorin.