Indian Navy may postpone its biggest maritime exercise ‘Milan’, in the wake of the rising scare of coronavirus infections outside China, reports Hindustan Times.
The Multi-nation naval exercise was scheduled to be held the Vishakhapatnam coast from March 19 to March 28. Over 40 countries were to be a part of the ‘Milan’ exercise with the Indian Navy except for China.
An official on condition of anonymity, said, “The exercise is being postponed due to the coronavirus scare. The new dates have not been finalized yet.”
Government sources:Indian Navy’s Milan multilateral naval exercise planned to be held from March 18 in Visakhapatnam may be cancelled in view of #Coronavirus. Govt has asked Army,Navy&Air Force to be prepared for quarantine facilities for over 2500 suspected cases in coming days. pic.twitter.com/1WDlwRAGUJ
— ANI (@ANI) March 3, 2020
The decision of adjourning the exercise was taken by several navies indicating their inability to participate in the exercise because of the novel coronavirus outbreak in different parts of the world.
As per reports, the government has also asked the armed forces to prepare for quarantine facilities over suspected cases in the coming days.
The exercise was earlier planned at Port Blair but was moved to the eastern seaboard this year because of better facilities and scope for bigger drills.
The latest exercise of Milan was being organized in the backdrop of China’s growing naval activity in the Indian Ocean.
The countries to whom invitations were sent include Indonesia, France, Mozambique, Sudan, Israel, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, New Zealand, the US, Tanzania, Comoros, Maldives, Brunei, Philippines, Japan, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritius, Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Kuwait, Iran, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Russia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Bahrain, UAE, and Seychelles.
Some of the participant nations have expressed their inability to partake in the exercise amidst the rising concerns over the novel coronavirus outbreak across the world.