The Conference, this time around, will be held in a Hybrid format where in the first phase will be held at sea.
A total of 14 warships have been readied for evacuating Indian citizens from Gulf and other countries amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, said Indian Navy officials on Tuesday.
Three Navy warships have sailed out to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Maldives and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The warships include INS Jalashwa, INS Magar and INS Shardul.
INS Jalashwa sailed from Visakhapatnam a few days ago from the east coast to the west coast.
INS Jalashwa deployed off Mumbai coast, along with INS Magar, diverted for Maldives on Monday night, while INS Shardul diverted to Dubai to evacuate the expatriates.
The three ships will return to Kochi, the official said.
INS Magar and INS Shardul are Southern Naval Command ships, while INS Jalashwa is from Eastern Naval Command.
This one of the biggest evacuation of Indian citizens stranded abroad because of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Government had on Monday said it will facilitate the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner from May 7.
The return journey of these stranded passengers is being arranged by aircraft and naval ships for which the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) has been prepared.
“Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. This facility would be made available on payment basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel,” Ministry of Home Affairs said in a press note.
“Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel. 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,” it added.
On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Arogya Setu app. Everyone would be medically screened. After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned State government.
COVID-19 test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols.
Earlier last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had stated that the missions in the Gulf countries were liaisoning with local authorities to move Indian citizens to one place. The Indian missions there have opened the registration process for Indians who want to return.
The Indian Air Force has been evacuating citizens from countries affected by COVID-19 frequently since January, which includes flights to China, Japan, Iran, Kuwait and Italy. The force has stated that it has kept C-17 Globemaster and C-130s on standby which can be used whenever they are required.
Apart from them, Air India flights are also being kept on standby to pick up stranded Indians from the Gulf countries.
Earlier, the Navy had carried out evacuation efforts in war-torn areas like Lebanon (2006) and Yemen (2015). Before that, evacuation was carried in 1990 during the first Gulf War between Iraq and Kuwait when around 1.5 lakh people were evacuated.