Armed forces ready to host 2,100 evacuees at six centres

The Indian armed forces have kept six quarantine facilities ready to accommodate up to 2,100 citizens being evacuated from several countries, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday. The forces are in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation and they have been informed that a large number of citizens stranded due to Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Malaysia are in the process of being evacuated. “Indian national evacuees from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Malaysia will be housed in the quarantine facilities maintained by the three services — Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force — in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bhopal, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai,” the ministry said.

The evacuees will undergo mandatory quarantine as per the standing operating procedure in the quarantine facilities, run by the Army, Navy and Air Force. Around 1,000 people evacuated from Saudi Arabia will kept at Jodhpur and Jaisalmer quarantine facilities. Around 400 people evacuated from Kuwait would be kept at Indian Army quarantine facility at Bhopal. The people being evacuated from UAE will be kept at Kochi. It can house 200 people. The 150 people coming from Bahrain would be kept at Visakhapatnam facility run by Indian Navy. Around 350 people coming from Malaysia would be kept at Chennai quarantine facility being managed by Indian Air Force. Besides, naval ships have sailed with food grains, medical teams, and medicines to Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries and they will evacuate Indians during their return journey.

INS Kesari has proceeded on deployment to Southern Indian Ocean Region from 6 May till 29 June, 2020. The ship will visit Madagascar, Comoros, Maldives and Seychelles. It will deliver 10-12 tonnes of medicines each to all these countries. It will also provide 660 tonnes of foodgrains to the Maldives. Medical teams comprising 14 personnel (eight doctors and six paramedics) and 13 personnel (four doctors and nine paramedics) have been dispatched to Mauritius and Comoros, respectively. INS Jalashwa sailed to the Maldives for evacuating stranded Indian nationals. It reached Male earlier on Thursday. The ship will start for Kochi on Friday with evacuee Indians. The INS Magar has also sailed to Maldives and is on its way to Male. The INS Airawat and INS Shardul are likely to proceed to the Gulf region for the evacuation of Indian nationals.

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