The ship will bring back about 200 citizens while taking all COVID-19 precautions, the Navy said.

New Delhi, May 10:

Indian Navy ship, INS Magar, reached the Maldives on Sunday to repatriate Indians stranded because of the coronavirus lockdown. The ship will bring back about 200 citizens while taking all COVID-19 precautions. Photographs of the inside of the ship show fully prepared bunks for the returning Indians.

A separate section of the ship has been prepared for the passengers. A separate mess has been allotted for women, infants and senior citizens. Additional precautions have been taken by dividing the people into groups to avoid crowding at common areas like dining hall, bathrooms.

It is the second naval vessel to have gone to the country in a few days. The INS Jalashwa, the Navy’s amphibious warship, reached Male on Thursday to undertake the massive repatriation mission named “Operation Samudra Setu” (Sea Bridge). It reached Kochi today with 698 people.

INS Magar, an LST(L) designed for landing operations, had made all necessary logistic, medical and administrative preparations at base port Kochi to comfortably accommodate civilians before setting sail towards Maldives.


Earlier this month, the centre had announced it would bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad since March, when the coronavirus lockdown was first announced. It had said aircraft and Navy ships will be used for the operation, and the passengers would have to pay for the service.

“During the journey, all these passengers would have to follow the protocols, such as the health protocols, issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” the centre had said in a statement.