New Delhi: Milan 2020, a multilateral naval exercise to be hosted by the Indian Navy was on Tuesday postponed to a future date amid fears over coronavirus outbreak. The development also comes even as the government has directed all three branched of the armed forces-Army, Air Force and Navy-to be ready for quarantine facilities for over 2,500 suspected cases in the coming days. Also Read - To Prevent Spread of Coronavirus, Twitter Asks Employees to Work From Home
The exercise was scheduled to take place between March 18-28 in Visakhapatnam. But now, according to government sources, new dates are being worked out for the exercise. Also Read - IndiGo Puts Cabin Crew on Home Observation After Hyderabad-Based Passenger Tests Positive For Coronavirus
In a statement, the Navy said, “Milan 2020, a multilateral naval exercise scheduled to be conducted from 18 to 28 March, at Visakhapatnam, has been postponed in the view of safety of all participants and travel restrictions due to Coronavirus.” Also Read - Process of Setting up of Isolation Wards Underway in 25 Hospitals Across Delhi-NCR: Sisodia on Coronavirus
“We look forward to scheduling Milan at a later convenient date,” the statement further stated.
A total of 41 countries were scheduled to participate in Milan 2020. The countries to whom invitation had been sent to participate in the exercise were Indonesia, France, Mozambique, Sudan, Israel, Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, New Zealand, USA, Tanzania, Comoros, Maldives, Brunei, Philippines, Japan, UK, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritius, Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Kuwait, Iran, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Russia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles.
The development comes on a day suspected coronavirus cases have been reported from cities like Delhi and Agra. In Jaipur, the wife of an Italian tourist tested positive, taking the total number of positive coronavirus cases in India to six.