KOCHI: More than 580 Indian citizens stranded in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here on board a Naval ship on Sunday, in the second phase of the Vande Bharat repatriation mission, officials said.
The Indian Navy ship INS Jalashwa under "Operation Samudra Setu" with 588 evacuees from Maldives arrived at the Cochin Port at 11.30 am on Sunday, official sources said.
The Cochin Port Trust tweeted a photo of the third group of Indian expatriates evacuated from the Island nation arriving at the port.
The third group of Indian expatriates evacuated from Maldives as part of 'Operation Samudra Setu' arrives at Cochin Port by INS Jalashwa. pic.twitter.com/8yKjn23wjn— Cochin Port Trust (@cochin_port) May 17, 2020
There are 568 repatriates of Kerala, 15 of Tamil Nadu and three belonging to Telangana and two persons from Lakshadweep, officials said.
Op #SamudraSetu. Phase 2. #INSJalashwa entering Kochi Harbour.— Mayank (@scribesoldier) May 17, 2020
She left Male yesterday for Kochi with 588 (incl 6 expectant mothers) Indian Citizens Embarked onboard. 1/2@indiannavy@NewIndianXpress@TheMornStandard pic.twitter.com/KxNF44VBMm
This is the third naval ship operated as part of the Vande Bharat mission to the city. On May 10, the vessel had brought home 698 Indian nationals from Maldives.
Two days later, another Navy Ship INS Magar had evacuated 202 Indian citizens from Maldives to here.
As Jalashwa carrying 588 evacuees left Maldives on Saturday morning, the High Commission of India there expressed its gratitude to the government of the island nation for ensuring safe repatriation of stranded Indian citizens.
"We are extremely grateful to the Govt.of #Maldives and all concerned agencies in ensuring safe and secure repatriation of nearly 1,500 Indian nationals from the Maldives under Op.#SamudraSetu," it had tweeted.