The United Kingdom (UK) based 'World Wise Foods' donated 75,000 surgical masks to the National Disaster Management Authorities on Saturday, to help curb the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The Maldivian High Commission in the UK, conveyed thanks to the company's founder and Chairman of the International Pole and Line Foundation, John Burton for his donation.
In turn, John Burton expressed hopes that the donation may help provide the country with relief during difficult times, and in particular that it may prove useful for the workers "fighting day and night" to ensure the security of all Maldivians.
NDMA's Director-General Sofeenaz Hassan, revealed that the protective equipment would be utilized in government-led quarantine facilities and distributed amongst frontline workers.
World Wise Foods has remained a key exporter of tuna products from Maldives for the European markets for a number of years. Notably, the company contributed to the development of the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO).
Over the last couple of months, a number of countries as well as private companies and organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) in particular, have extended generous support to Maldives' COVID-19 response. The country continues to receive aid in the form of technical assistance in different sectors, arrangements to conduct testing for COVID19 across the archipelago and the procurement of various essential supplies.
Maldives presently records 1,672 confirmed and 1,259 active cases of COVID-19, with five fatalities and 406 recoveries.
WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 6.1 million people and claimed over 371,364 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 2.7 million people have recovered.