World Health Organisation (WHO) provided 10,000 testing kits for COVID-19 to Maldives on Monday, as part of its assistance to the country's COVID-19 response.
The testing kits were presented by the organisation's Representative to Maldives Dr Arvind Mathur, in a special ceremony held at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC).
Receiving the donation on behalf of the government, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen conveyed his gratitude to WHO for its assistance.
He also noted WHO's support as the primary contributor towards increasing diagnostic capacity within the atolls across the archipelago.
On behalf of WHO, Dr Mathur guaranteed to further continued assistance to Maldives to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, adding that an additional shipment of testing kits will be distributed in the near future.
WHO is working towards establishing diagnostic capabilities in the northern Kulhudhuffushi City and southernmost Addu City.
With this donation, the international health agency has gifted total 41,000 testing kits for the novel coronavirus to the island nation till date.
In addition to the testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), WHO has extended notable support to Maldives in the COVID-19 response, in the form of technical assistance, arrangements to conduct tests for the coronavirus in various regions of the country, and procuring aid from other organisations for Maldives.
Currently, Maldives records a total of 1,916 cases, out of which 981 are active cases of COVID-19. The country records 925 recoveries and eight deaths.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first week following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.
WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 7.2 million people and claimed over 408,744 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 3.5 million people have recovered.