During an official visit to India which commenced on February 3, Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi held discussions with Indian counterparts on providing Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) with protective gear for hazardous situations.
Minister Mariya discussed the need for protective gear in a meeting with Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, speaking of military personnel's safety regarding the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan City, China.
Currently, MNDF personnel is handling the transportation of suspected cases of the virus. The Maldivian individual suspected for carrying the virus was quarantined on January 31 by an MNDF team in safety suits and masks.
During the defence minister's trip to India, Minister Mariya also met with generals and doctors of the Indian military's Medical Corps, with whom she discussed standard operating procedures of isolation centres established in response to the virus outbreak and acquiring protective gear for military personnel in charge of evacuating suspected cases.
Talking to Indian media after these meetings, Minister Mariya stated that last year was a successful year in the military sector for both countries, adding that Maldives and India both had plans to further strengthen cooperation in the area.
Furthermore, the minister expressed interest in acquiring another vessel similar to 'CGS Kaamiyaabu' gifted by the Indian military in December 2019.
According to the Minister, she received a "positive signal" from the Indian government over the matter. She also iterated that India was always ready to cooperate with Maldives on any front.
Since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih assumed office in November 2018, bilateral relations between Maldives and India have continued to improve.