Medtech Maldives, on Sunday, confirmed having received the 18 ventilators it was tasked with bringing by the Maldivian government, along with other medical equipment, all of which arrived via Srilankan Airlines.
The company holds an MVR 14.4 million contract with the government to bring in a total of 50 ventilators to Maldives. The first shipment was originally due to arrive on May 1.
On Saturday, the company also gifted 1000 antibody tests to state-owned Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, to aid with Maldives response over the local outbreak.
According to Medtech, the antibody tests are the most up-to-date kits produced by US' fortune 500 company Abbott Laboratories and can be put into immediate effect by utilizing Abbott's ARCHITECT Laboratory i-systems in IGMH Laboratory, which can run up to 100-200 tests per hour.
In a study conducted by the School of Medicine at Washington University, researchers found that Abbott's antibody tests had a specificity rate of 99 percent, along with a sensitivity rate of 100 percent, suggesting a considerably reduced chance of incorrect results.
Medtech owns exclusive rights to distribution in Maldives, for the products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories.
With respect to Sunday's shipment, the ventilators were ordered by the government in order to increase the number of available devices to 200 from the existing 97—a figure that was earlier disclosed by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
In addition to Medtech, the government has standing agreements with two other companies; a contract valued at 8.3 million with Naadu Private Limited to supply 26 ventilators and an MVR 34 million contract with Dubai-based Executors General Trading LLC to supply 75 ventilators through the World Health Organization (WHO).
Responding to concern caused by delays in the arrival of shipments, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen stated that many companies were experiencing difficulties in supplying the ventilators within the agreed period due to issues caused by ongoing lockdowns in production areas as well as the sudden, rapid increase in demand for the product.
Previously, Medtech donated to IGMH one of Abbott's i‑STAT handheld blood analysers, a point-of-care testing system capable of delivering results in a very short time frame.
Medtech's next shipment of ventilators is due to arrive on May 15. With regards to Naadu Private Limited and Executors General Trading LLC, neither company has publicised a confirmation of procurement nor an estimated date of delivery for the shipment.
According to local news Mihaaru, the companies were granted these contracts outside of the legally mandated bidding process. However, the NEOC has confirmed that the state has already released funds to Executors General Trading LLC.
A number of private entities, from Chinese enterprises to resort owners in Maldives, have also stepped up their efforts, donating ventilators and other necessary medical supplies, to assist the nation in its efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of infection.
Maldives presently records 790 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 758 active cases and 3 deaths. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since it recorded its first local transmission of the virus on April 15.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.1 million people and claimed over 280,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.4 million people have recovered.