Indian Navy's multilateral exercise MILAN has been cancelled amid fears of coronavirus outbreak, top government sources said on Tuesday. Sources told India Today that the mega biennial naval event has been indefinitely postponed.
MILAN is a multilateral naval exercise which commenced in 1995, and was conducted at Andaman and Nicobar Command until 2018. This time the event was scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam from March 18, 2020. A total of 41 nations were invited for the joint naval drill, including the navies of US, UK, France, Japan, Russia and Iran.
Other countries invited to participate in the exercise included Indonesia, Maldives, Australia, Somalia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, France, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, New Zealand, Israel, Tanzania, Comoros, Seychelles Brunei, Philippines, Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritius, Cambodia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Kuwait, Djibouti, Bahrain, UAE, Eritrea and Bangladesh.
The government has asked Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force to be prepared for quarantine facilities for over 2,500 suspected coronavirus cases in coming days, news agency ANI reported.
The development came after four positive coronavirus cases - one each in Delhi and Hyderabad and two in Jaipur- were reported in the last two days. With this, total count of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased to six. Three students from Kerala earlier tested positive for COVID-19 were later discharged from hospital after treatment.
Apart from this, six people in Uttar Pradesh's Agra are suspected to have contracted the virus, whose blood samples have been sent for testing. Two schools in Noida have been directed to remain close for quarantine and sanitisation purposes.
By Chitranjan Kumar