The Indian Navy Shardul-class tank landing ship INS Kesari (L15) has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide COVID-19 relief supplies on May 10.
The supplies included food Items, COVID related medicines including HCQ tablets and special ayurvedic medicines. The vessel also has medical assistance teams embarked.
The deployment dubbed as ‘Mission Sagar’ “is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between these countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties”, said an Indian Ministry of Defence statement.
The vessel will arrive at the Port of Male in the Republic of Maldives, to provide them with 600 tons of food provisions. India and Maldives are close maritime neighbours with “strong and extremely cordial” defence and diplomatic relations.
“The deployment is in consonance with the Prime Ministers vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond. The operation is being progressed in close coordination with the Ministries of Defence and External Affairs, and other agencies of the Government of India,” said the MoD statement.