After successfully completing the 'Mission Sagar' in the southern Indian Ocean region, Indian Naval Ship Kesari arrived at Kochi on Sunday after 55 days of its deployment. As a part of port calls the ship delivered 580 tons of food aid and essential medical stores to local authorities of Male (Maldives), Port Louis (Mauritius), Antsiranana (Madagascar), Moroni (Comoros Islands) and Port Victoria (Seychelles) under its special 'COVID Relief Mission'.
Apart from the essential services, a 14-member Naval Medical Assistance Team was also deputed to Mauritius and Comoros for 20 days each that assisted local governments in the formulation of long term strategy to combat COVID-19 through mutual sharing of experience.
'Mission Sagar' is inspired by Prime Minister Modi's vision of SAGAR -- Security and Growth for All in the Region. The shipment carrying essential medicines and medical assistance team as part of 'Mission Sagar' reaffirms India's role as a preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and reflects India's commitment to work together with its maritime neighbours and partners in the IOR.
The ship's long deployment in rough seas and difficult times towards the delivery of essential medical aid has been widely appreciated by these countries. Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth had personally thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a telephonic conversation last month for the deployment of INS Kesari. Furthermore, heads of states, as well as senior dignitaries from other countries, had also expressed gratitude for the timely aid.
The Centre government started Mission Sagar last month to assist friendly neighbouring countries with essential supplies amid the pandemic. It deployed INS Kesari to Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles, carrying on board two Medical Assistance Teams, consignments of COVID-19 related essential medicines and food items. This assistance came as a response to the requests made by their governments to deal with the pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data on Sunday, the total Coronavirus cases in India stand at 5,28,859. Out of which 2,03,051 are active cases and 3,09,713 people have recovered from the infection. 16,095 deaths reported so far.
(With inputs from ANI)