The Customs Service revealed on Wednesday, that over the last five months, up to MVR 16.2 million was waived off from goods related to Maldives' COVID-19 response.
At the beginning of the local outbreak, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih offered assured that import duty would be waived for goods the government deemed necessary for combating the health crisis.
Following the declaration, the state announced that throughout the ongoing state of Public Health Emergency, taxes normally applicable to such goods will not be charged.
Such 'health-sector' related products include protective googles, PPE kits, hazmat suits, gloves, face shields and face mask.
In addition, duty was waived off for handwashing products and sanitizers as well.
The tax exemption on goods in the aforementioned category was provided to all companies across the public and private sector.
Maldives declared its first-ever state of public health emergency, under Section 33 of the 7/2012 Public Health Act on over the COVID-19 pandemic from March 12 onwards for a period of 30 days. It was then extended twice, first on April 10 for 30 days, and then again till the end of May till June 29.
Presumably, if the situation does not worsen then this will be the last extension as the country has already announced it is opening borders on July 1.
Maldives currently records a total of 2,120 confirmed cases, out of which 433 are active cases of COVID-19. The country records 1,677 recoveries and eight fatalities so far.
Despite the easing of lockdown measures, travel bans and as the island nation looks to re-open it's doors to the world, Maldives has thus far only recorded a slight decline in the number of new cases being detected, and infections continue to be found.