Kochi: In the second phase of the repatriation mission by the Indian navy, more than 200 Indian citizens stranded in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic arrived here by a Naval ship on Tuesday evening.
"The second Indian Navy ship under 'Operation Samudra Setu' - INS Magar with 202 evacuees from Maldives arrived at Cochin Port on Tuesday at 5:45pm," a Cochin Port Trust statement said here.
There are 91 repatriates of Kerala, 83 of Tamil Nadu and 28 belonging to 15 other states and Union Territories, it said.
The vessel is berthed at BTP Jetty and the disembarkation procedures, including examination and clearance by PHO, Customs and Immigration, are being carried out inside the Terminal.
The Ernakulam District Administration, Police Department and other Government agencies are coordinating transportation, quarantine facilities and ambulances.
People belonging to Tamil Nadu will be moved in buses arranged by the Tamil Nadu Government, officials said.
One of the men, who hails from Tamil Nadu, has a fractured leg.
INS Magar was deployed for second phase of repatriation of Indian citizens from Maldives as part of Indian Navy's Operation Samudra Setu under the Union government's Vande Bharat Mission.
In the first phase, INS Jalashwa had evacuated 698 Indian nationals stranded in the Maldives on May 10. A Defence official said INS Jalashwa will be evacuating approximately 700 nationals from Maldives on May 15 during her second repatriation sortie.
INS Kesari reaches Maldives
Meanwhile, the Navy said its ship INS Kesari reached Male on Tuesday with 580 tonnes of food provisions for Maldives as part of Mission Sagar that began amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and social distancing norms, an online handing over ceremony (for the food cargo) was held on May 12, 2020," the Navy said in its press release.
The ceremony was attended by Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi and High Commissioner of India to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir.
Mission Sagar follows closely on the heels of Operation Samudra Setu, which is aimed at repatriation of Indian citizens from overseas.
"The government of India is providing assistance to friendly foreign countries and towards this INS Kesari was carrying 580 tonnes of food provisions for people of Maldives," the Navy stated.
(With PTI inputs)