Naval vessel INS Shardul brought back 233 stranded Indian nationals from Iran to Gujarat, India, on 11 June, who had previously been unable to return due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The Indian nationals, mostly fishermen, sailed with the vessel on 8 June from the port of Bandar Abbas, Iran, under the operation known as “Samudra Setu”. According to Puneet Chadha, defence public relations officer for the state of Gujarat, pre-boarding health checks and social distancing was carried out onboard the naval vessel to avoid the spread of the disease.
“The ship is docked at Porbandar port and passengers are being disembarked. The local administration has made arrangements to send them to their respective native places,” said Chadha in a press statement.
Operation “Samudra Setu” was launched, on 8 May, to bring back Indian nationals stranded abroad due to COVID-19. So far 2,874 Indian nationals were repatriated from the Maldives and Sri Lanka, by naval vessels INS Jalashwa and INS Magar, under this operation.