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Over 3000 Maldivians sent to India for critical care during pandemic: High Commission

Shahudha Mohamed
14 January 2021, MVT 21:14
Officers of Maldives National Defence Force guarding the Indian High Commission. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
14 January 2021, MVT 21:14

The Indian High Commission, on Thursday, revealed that over 3,000 Maldivian patients had travelled to India to obtain critical medical care, under exceptions in visa and travel regulations, during the pandemic, despite India’s borders not being fully open.

In addition to the special permissions for travel for Maldivian patients, the High Commission also noted that India also donated 5.5 tons of essential medicines to the island nation in March, airlifted 6.3 tons of medicine from various Indian Cities to Maldives in April and gifted 2400 vials of BCG vaccine, to address a shortfall in Maldives' National Immunisation Programme in December last year.

Moreover, the neighbouring country had also conducted several training courses for healthcare professionals and civil servants on COVID-19 mitigation, in addition to extending a post-doctoral fellowship in cardio electro-physiology at SCTIMST to the top Maldivian cardiologist Dr Ali Shafeeq.

"Health is a time-tested pillar of our bilateral partnership”, the Indian High Commission said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened our resolve and accelerated our efforts in cooperation in this vital sector for the benefit of our peoples".

In addition to the aforementioned aid, India also extended various grants and loans, including over USD 250 million as budgetary support to mitigate the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, marking the largest single donor assistance extended to the island nation in history.