Indian Navy postpones multi-nation ‘Milan’ exercise as coronavirus precaution

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Online Desk: As a part of taking pre-cautionary measurers following fresh confirmed coronavirus cases reported in the country, the Indian Navy has postponed its largest ever multi-nation war game exercise styled “Milan 2020”. The event, which had already generated “huge enthusiasm”, was scheduled to begin on March 18 in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh of the country. “The exercise – Milan 2020 – has been indefinitely postponed taking into consideration the safety of all participants and travel restrictions imposed by the spread of COVID-19”, a Navy statement said here on Tuesday. Milan 2020, the statement said, had “generated a very enthusiastic response”, with Navies around the world having expressed their desire to participate. In deference to this interest, the Indian Navy looks forward toward scheduling MILAN at a later convenient date, media reports said quoting the statement. Navies of 41 countries had been invited for the exercise, and more than 30 had confirmed their presence. Navies of 16 countries, besides India, had
participated in the last edition of the event in 2018. Milan 2020 was expected to have the presence of at least 12 warships from across the world. Among the countries that had been invited are the US, Russia, France, Israel, Iran, UAE, Australia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. China and Pakistan were also invited for the exercise. The exercise was supposed to have a harbour phase from March 18 to March 23 and a sea phase from March 24 to March 27. Besides, India has stepped up preparedness in anticipation of cluster cases after the two fresh cases of coronavirus confirmed in the country during the last three days. It has also intensified medical screening a day
after two more positive cases of coronavirus. As part of the pre-cautionary measurers, Indian government had earlier suspended all regular and e-visa issued to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan on or before Tuesday. Indian health ministry on Monday said that a case of coronavirus was detected in Delhi even as another case in Hyderabad took the number of reported infections in the country to six. The coronavirus outbreak has killed over 3,000 people and infected nearly 90,000 others worldwide since it began in China’s Wuhan district in December
last year.

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