Tamil Nadu, June 3, 2020 : Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa on Tuesday brought back 713 Indian nationals, including some from Kerala, stranded in Sri Lanka, to Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu as part of its repatriation exercise in which Air India is also involved.
In its second phase, INS Jalashwa will bring back stranded Indians from Male in Maldives and Bandar Abbas in Iran, to Thoothukudi.
The majority of stranded Indians who have come back from Sri Lanka are from Tamil Nadu. There are also those from Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and north-eastern States.
After medical screening and immigration formalities at the VOC port, the evacuees were sent to their home towns by Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri.
The ship itself was divided into three zones and the evacuees were kept in the red zone, the health care givers in orange and the crew in green.
As only thermal screening was done on arrival, the evacuees are expected to be home quarantined once they reach their native places.
The southern districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Virudhanagar are already bearing the brunt of infection brought home by stranded Tamils from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana as well as from New Delhi, West Bengal and Rajasthan. The majority of them came by road and some by trains and flights.
The arrival of 700 plus evacuees from Sri Lanka will lead to a further spurt in Covid cases not only in the southern districts but also in Chennai as 42 are from the State capital.