Universal Enterprises donates over 20k coronavirus test kits

Universal Enterprises has donated 20,200 test kits to help the Maldives contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Health minister Abdulla Ameen received the donation Saturday.

One of the largest conglomerates in the Maldives, Universal owns and operates the largest collection of resorts in the Maldives.

Universal has suspended the operations all of its resorts, as the Maldives reels from the economic impact of a series of drastic preventive measures aimed at containing the virus outbreak.

Well-wishers have donated medical supplies and protective equipment to support the Maldives’ efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the notable donations include:

  • The Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, the charity arms of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba and its billionaire founder Jack Ma: 10 ventilators, 90,000 disposable protective masks, 10,000 N95 protective masks, and 10,000 test kits.
  • Singaporean billionaire property tycoon Ong Beng Seng, whose Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) owns several resorts in the MaldivesEight ventilators: eight ventilators, and 100,000 face masks.
  • Daniel Kretinsky and Jiri Smejc, the Czech billionaires who own the ultra-luxury Velaa Private Island resort in the Maldives: Five ventilators, 10,000 test kits, 100,000 face masks, 200 respirators, and 500 PPE kits.
  • Cocoon Investments: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, face masks and sanitiser.
  • Kandima Maldives: Two ventilators, 2,500 PCR test kits, 850 PPE overalls, 4,000 KN95 masks, and 20,000 medical face masks. A separate donation was made to the local island of Kudahuvadhoo.
  • Singapore’s Temasek Foundation: 25 test kits with a capacity to do 5,000 tests.

On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.

Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.

A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on April 15, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 1,884.

Eight deaths have been reported and 717 have made full recoveries. Five remain in intensive care.

The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.

The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, schools, colleges and universities.

Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks have also been shut.

Restaurants and cafes in the capital have been asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.

A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands is also in effect.

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