World Health Organisation (WHO) donated 5,000 testing kits for COVID-19 to Maldives on Sunday.
Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen and WHO's Representative to Maldives Dr Arvind Mathur signed the agreement during a special handover ceremony held at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) established in Dharubaaruge convention centre.
Speaking after the signing, Minister Ameen thanked WHO for supplying the 50 lab kits capable of running 5,000 tests for the coronavirus. He highlighted that it was WHO's initial donation of 1,000 kits in late February which enabled the state to test for COVID-19 within the country without sending samples abroad.
"And so with this [additional donation], we shall be able to conduct tests as necessary in the event [the virus] spreads further in Maldives", he said.
The minister stated that the government will continue to strengthen preventative actions and Maldives' capacity to keep testing for the coronavirus. He assured that work was underway to expand virus testing to regions outside of the capital area.
WHO Representative Dr Mathur reiterated that Maldives was following a comprehensive plan, which was formulated well in advance and in accordance with WHO's instructions in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
He assured that WHO will continue to work closely with Maldivian health authorities.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Maldives reached 13 on Sunday. The COVID-19, which originated in China, has so far infected over 156,900 individuals and claimed over 5,800 lives, while more than 75,900 people have recovered.