Defence sources said that INS Jalashwa participating in Indian Navy's "Operation Samudra Setu" has entered Male on Thursday morning for evacuating Indian citizens stranded there

All arrangements as per government guidelines are in place at Cochin Port to facilitate the arrival of those who are being evacuated by the Indian government via sea route.

The first Naval ship with around 750 Indian citizens from Male is expected to arrive Cochin Port on May 10, Port Trust officials said here. Few more are expected in the next few weeks, they said. Defence sources said here that INS Jalashwa participating in Indian Navy's "Operation Samudra Setu" has entered Male on Thursday morning for evacuating Indian citizens stranded there.

The embarkation of citizens would commence from Friday, the sources said.

Kochi city police commissioner Vijay Sakhare and Fort Kochi Sub Collector Snehil Kumar Singh visited the Samudrika Cruise Terminal on Thursday and reviewed the arrangements. They also held discussion with the officials from the District Administration, Police, Cochin Port Trust, CISF, Port Health Organisation, Immigration and the Indian Navy.

Cochin Port Trust Chairperson M Beena also reviewed the operational preparedness and infrastructural arrangements with senior port officials in order to ensure hassle free evacuation of repatriates through the port.

The disembarkation exercise, including the movement of passengers from the vessel to the Terminal area, will be carried out under the administrative control of the officer representing District Administration, Ernakulam and the Medical protocols as per the directions of the officer representing District Medical Authority, the Port Trust said.

Before arrival at Cochin, on board the vessel, the Navy will get the self e-declaration data filled by all passengers and also identify the passengers symptomatic of COVID-19.

The symptomatic passengers will be disembarked first, followed by other passengers (district wise) in batches of 50 persons, the Port Trust said in a statement here.

Ambulance for transport of symptomatic passengers to quarantine centres will be arranged by District Medical Officer and District Administration.

Separate zone has been earmarked for the symptomatic patients. The passengers disembarked will undergo further statutory verifications for clearances inside the Samudrika Cruise Terminal where Port Health Organisation will verify the self declaration form. BSNL will issue SIM cards to the passengers.

Passengers will install Arogya Setu app in their mobiles while inside the Terminal.

District Administration and District Police will provide basic guidance to the passengers. This will be followed by immigration and Customs checks, baggage scanning etc.

The passengers, once cleared by all statutory organisations, will be transported to different districts in KSRTC buses (30 per bus) arranged by the Regional Transport Officer.

Private vehicles with proper separations will be made available for certain category of passengers, officials said.