The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday, revealed that the security forces of Maldives and India had commenced joint efforts to transport eight tonnes of medicine to Maldives by April 2.
The shipments, ordered by the State Trading Organization (STO), were not delivered on schedule due to the Indian government's implementation of a 21-day lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the foreign ministry, the Indian Air Force would transport medicine shipments in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Madurai to a single location on Wednesday. The eight tonnes of medicine will subsequently be airlifted to Maldives on the following day.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid recently deliberated on ensuring uninterrupted supplies of essential medicine to Maldives with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar via telephone.
On March 14, the Indian government donated a three month supply of essential medicine to Maldives in order to boost the country's capacity to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Maldives now has 18 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. Despite the three confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions are recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 787, 200 people and claimed over 37,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 165, 900 people have recovered.