Maldives gets $5 mln medical supplies donation from UAE

United Arab Emirates has donated medical supplies worth MVR 77.3 million ($5 million) to help the Maldives fight the coronavirus outbreak.

A chartered Emirates cargo flight carrying the 72-tone supplies landed at the Maldives main Velana International Airport Monday afternoon.

The donation includes:

  • A real time PCR system
  • A PCR extraction machine
  • PPE kits
  • Hand sanitiser units
  • PCR kits with a capacity of 30,000 tests

Foreign minister Abdulla Shahid, who had in April briefed his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, thanked the Emirati government for the donation.

“UAE is an invaluable friend and partner of the Maldives, time and time again,” he said, on Twitter.

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 1,903.

Eight deaths have been reported and 827 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.

Photo: Maldivian foreign minister Abdulla Shahid (L) shakes hands with his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (R) during the former’s visit to the UAE on November 30, 2018. FILE PHOTO: FOREIGN MINISTRY

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