On the day the Railways began operating special trains to return stranded migrant workers to their homes in the eastern states, the armed forces announced they are awaiting the government nod to start evacuating Indian nationals from the Middle East.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said: “We have a very large diaspora in the Gulf, who are doing important work there and send large remittances. We were asked to be ready for evacuation, and we have prepared our ships. As soon as we get the go-ahead, we will go, along with Indian Air Force and Air India, and evacuate them together.” The Navy chief was speaking at a press conference conducted by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, along with Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Army chief General M Naravane.
Praising the work of corona warriors, Gen Rawat said the operational preparedness of the armed forces has not suffered because of COVID-19. “Preparations do not fall down in 3-4 months. If we were prepared before this virus struck us, we will be prepared when it ends,” he said.
He said that in honour of the corona warriors, all three forces will hold special events on May 3.
The IAF will conduct flypasts from Srinagar to Trivandrum, Dibrugarh to Kutch. During the flypast, the aircraft will shower flower petals at some places.
The Army will conduct band displays at some Covid hospitals. The Navy will have its warships deployed in formations in coastal areas on May 3 evening.