Velaa Private Island hosts charity auction to support Maldives coronavirus response

Velaa Private Island is hosting a charity auction to raise funds for the Maldives efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

In partnership with British Polo Day, Velaa Private Island is offering a one-week stay to be redeemed when travel opens up again.

The auction is for seven nights in a two-bedroom Beach Pool House for up to four people, with lots of other additional gifts. It is valued at $75,000.

All of the funds raised from the auction will be used to help the Maldivian authorities fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through this fundraising initiative, Velaa Private Island plans to buy a large number of test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It has also teamed up with another British Polo Day partner Clinova, who makes the Covaflu masks.

In May, Velaa Private Island donated medical and protective equipment to its local neighbouring islands.

Owners of the 47-villa exclusive island resort also made a separate donation of medical and protective equipment to the Maldives government.

Czech billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Jiri Smejc donated five ventilators, 10,000 test kits, 100,000 face masks, 200 respirators and 500 personal protective equipment (PPE) kit to the Maldives.

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 2,277.

Eight deaths have been reported and 1,848 have made full recoveries.

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 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 were also shut.

Restaurants and cafes in the capital were 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 was also ordered.

These measures allowed authorities to contain the outbreak.

More than half of the people who contracted the virus have recovered and daily recoveries have over taken the number of new infections detected per day.

The restrictions are now being eased in phases, with the second phase lasting at least until June end.

The Maldives is also preparing to reopen its borders on July 15.

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