India has sent three naval ships to evacuate its citizens stranded in the Maldives and UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a defence spokesperson said in the early hours today.
INS Jalashwa deployed off Mumbai coast, along with INS Magar, diverted for Maldives on Monday night, he said, while INS Shardul diverted to Dubai to evacuate the expatriates.
The three ships will return to Kochi, he said. INS Magar and INS Shardul are Southern Naval Command ships, while INS Jalashwa is from Eastern Naval Command.
The evacuation of lakhs of Indian citizens stranded abroad because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown will begin from May 7 in a phased manner, the central government said on Monday in what is touted to be one of the biggest such operations India.