Indian Navy ship INS Kesari arrived in Kochi on Sunday after 55 days of deployment in the southern Indian Ocean region as part of ‘Mission Sagar’.
The ship was deployed on a special ‘COVID Relief Mission’ and made port calls at Male (Maldives), Port Louis (Mauritius), Antsiranana (Madagascar), Moroni (Comoros Islands) and Port Victoria (Seychelles) for delivery of 580 tonnes of food aid and essential medical supplies to local authorities, a Defence release said.
Further, a 14-member naval medical assistance team was also deputed to Mauritius and Comoros for 20 days each and assisted local governments in formulation of long-term strategies to counter COVID-19 through mutual sharing of experience, it said.
The shipment of 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 release said.
The ship's long deployment in rough seas and difficult times towards delivery of essential medical aid has been widely appreciated by these countries.
The prime minister of Mauritius had personally thanked the Indian prime minister during a telephone conversation last month for deployment of INS Kesari.
Similarly, heads of states or senior dignitaries from other countries had also expressed gratitude for the timely aid.
Overall, Mission Sagar of Indian Navy has been a great success, the release added.
The Centre started Mission Sagar last month to assist friendly neighbouring countries with essential supplies amid the pandemic.