Guwahati: Amid easing of lockdown restrictions in India, the Navy's vessel INS Jalashwa has reached Colombo in Sri Lanka to repatriate 700 stranded Indians under the second phase of Operation ''Samudra Setu'' as a part of the Indian Government's ambitious "Vande Bharat" mission.
The vessel that reached in the morning, will leave for Tuticoron in Tamil Nadu with 700 persons later today. Later, it will again repatriate another 700 personnel from Male in the Maldives to the same location.
Army officials have informed that the ship has been divided into red, orange, and green categories to maintain the Government-prescribed social distancing protocols. In a bid to adhere to the present requirements of maintaining social distancing and health protocols, the ship is divided specifically into three zones-- red, orange and green.
Commander Gaurav Durgapal, Executive Officer on INS Jalashwa told media that the red zone is the area where they plan to accommodate all the evacuees. The orange zone is a place with a team dedicated to taking care of the people being evacuated and the Green zone is where officers and sailors are staying.
Meanwhile, the boarders will be screened medically and will only be allowed to embark if they do not show any symptoms of the coronavirus. Apart from adhering to social distancing, evacuees are subjected to the required medical screening and those asymptomatic have been allowed to embark.
Additionally, to prevent an outbreak of the disease, the returnees will be provided with a new mask at the time of boarding followed by a new mask each day till they reach Tuticorin, and hand sanitizers shall also be available. Meanwhile, personal protective equipment (PPE) kits would be made available to be officers and crew who will be on board the vessel.
"A happy & bright morning @ColomboPort. #INSJalashwa is the ''Fearless Pioneer'' ready to take 700 stranded Indians back to their homeland from #SriLanka. This is INS Jalashwa''s 3rd voyage under #SamudraSetu Previously she carried to India nearly 1400 Indians stranded in Maldives", High Commission of India in Sri Lanka tweeted earlier today.
It is pertinent to mention here that the INS Jalashwa would voyage on evacuation missions to Male (Maldives) and Bandar Abbas (Iran). The Operation Samudra Setu under Vande Bharat Mission has so far facilitated over 1000 evacuees from Male during the operations between May 8 and May 16.