Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen, on Tuesday, stated that samples derived from any individual suspected to be infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) were to be sent to India's Pune for testing, as Maldives is not presently equipped to conduct such tests.
Speaking at a news conference held to brief local media concerning preventative measures implemented by the government, the health minister stated named Pune as the closest location at which tests could be conducted, adding that results would be confirmed in 48 hours.
He further highlighted that only two laboratories in the world were equipped to conduct tests at the time the outbreak initially occurred and that other countries are currently collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to build capacity for conducting the tests.
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China in December 2019. As of Wednesday, the death toll reached 132 in mainland China with 5,974 individuals confirmed to be infected, while the total number of cases reach over 6,000 around the world.
Excluding China, confirmed cases of infection have now been recorded in Australia, Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.