Kochi, May 10: The first group of 698 persons evacuated from the Maldives arrived at Cochin Port on Sunday at 9: 30 am by ship 'INS Jalaswa' of the Indian Navy.The port is lending a helping hand in 'Operation Samudra Setu' by throwing open its resources for facilitating the smooth transition of expatriates. Samudrika Cruise Terminal had been opened up for handling the expatriates and authorities had taken up necessary refurbishments consistent following medical protocols, the port trust said in a statement.
The ship was berthed at BTP Jetty and the disembarkation procedures were being carried out at Samudrika Cruise Terminal.The group of expatriates comprises 595 males and 103 females. Of this, 14 are children below 10 years and 19 pregnant women. Though the majority of passengers were from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, there were repatriates of 18 other states/UTs.Passengers showing Covid-19 symptoms were being disembarked first followed by others in small groups, district-wise.Thermal screening of passengers on arrival was being carried out by the port health authorities.
Customs and Immigration procedures were carried out inside the terminal, where arrangement had also been made for distribution of SIM cards by BSNL and installation of ArogyaSetu in mobile phones of passengers. Disinfection facility for baggage and free wi-fi had been made available by the port at the terminal.Arrangements for onward travel to hospitals/institutional quarantine centres/home quarantine were being ensured by State Government through ambulances, state transport buses and taxis. These arrangements were being coordinated by the district administration and police and health departments.