INS Kesari travels 7,500 nautical miles in over 55 days to deliver coronavirus aid

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 02, 2020, 05.33 PM(IST) Reported By: Sidhant Sibal

INS Kesari Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

The Indian ship received a warm welcome to countries where it went. The first destination was the Maldives where the consignment was formally handed over by the Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir in an online ceremony, attended by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi. 

Indian navy ship INS Kesari travelled over 7,500 nautical miles in over 55 days and delivered aid to five countries -- Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles -- amid the coronavirus crisis.

Under the "Mission Sagar", the ship sailed on May 10 and came back to India on June 28. A ministry of external affairs release said the aim of the mission was to "deliver assistance to our maritime neighbours in dealing with the COVID crisis. India’s humanitarian assistance included supplies of essential food items, medicines, Ayurvedic medicines and deployment of Medical Assistance Teams (MAT) to Mauritius and Comoros.". 

The Indian ship received a warm welcome to countries where it went. The first destination was the Maldives where the consignment was formally handed over by the Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir in an online ceremony, attended by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi. 

Maldives President Ibrahim Solih in a tweet said, "During the COVID crisis, India has been a true friend to the Maldives. India's recent gift of essential food supplies is particularly helpful during these challenging times."

The secnd destination was Mauritius were it was received by the Minister for Health of Mauritius, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal with the consignments handed over to him by Indian High Commissioner Tanmaya Lal. Pravind Jugnauth, Mauritius PM conveyed his country's gratitude to India over the phone to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in a tweet said, "Our relationship with India will always be special as it is based on mutual trust and common values." 

By end of May, the ship had reached Madagascar were it was welcomed by Foreign Minister of the country Tehindrazanarivelo Liva Djacoba in the presence of Indian envoy Abhay Kumar.

From Madagascar, it went to Comoros and was received by the Minister of Health, Solidarity, Social Protection and Gender Promotion of Comoros Loub Yacout Zaidu. The president of the country Azali Assoumani in a tweet said, "In the name of the Comorian people, I am very thankful to #India for the arrival of a Medical Assistance Team and medicines today in Moroni to help us fight COVID19 and Dengue."

"The assistance marks the strengthening of the cooperation and the relationship." 

The last stop was Seychelles. On June 7, 2020, in a handing over ceremony organised the same day, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Blue Economy, Amb. Barry Faure and Secretary of State for Health, Amb. Marie Lloyd jointly received the consignment on behalf of Government of Seychelles from the High Commissioner of India Dalbir Singh Suhag.