The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated an additional 50 lad testing kits to the Maldives, which can run 5,000 tests, as an aid for its efforts to combat the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a ceremony held at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) established at Dharubaaruge on Monday morning, Minister of Health, Abdulla Ameen signed the handover agreement on behalf of the Maldives while the WHO Representative for the Maldives, while Dr Arvind Mathur signed on behalf of the international health agency. The ceremony was also joined by the Chief Executive Officer of Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), Ibrahim Saleem, as well.
Speaking during the ceremony, Minister Ameen stressed on the importance of public adherence to the instructions and protocols set by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), as the Maldives is also at risk of the pandemic, although we haven’t seen it spread in local communities yet.
As such, he highlighted that the relevant authorities are implementing stringent measures to control the pandemic from spreading in the Maldives.
Adding that over 1,500 samples have been tested for the virus in the Maldives thus far, Ameen urged the people to remain indoors and follow instructions set by authorities during these trying times.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Mathur acknowledged and appreciated the comprehensive efforts that have been put in place to contain the disease.
I think it has been a very fine example of collective effort and solidarity where we see that health facilities, health workforce, but also everyone in the society has risen to take up the measures that have been advised by the Health Protection Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Emergency Operations Center, so that we all can contribute our best in containing the epidemic and making sure that we remain free from this transmission. Today, on this very important note, we are very pleased to further enhance the testing capacity with the ministry and gratefully acknowledge the effort of IGMH and the lab teams in IGMH along with the whole load of technical advisory committee members and the clinicians who are working, that today we would be in a position to have the 11,000 samples that could be tested in the country. We would continue to build this capacity together with ministry and make sure that sufficient capacities exist in the countryDr. Mathur
The WHO representative further urged everyone to “join hands” with the authorities in their efforts to keep every individual safe and to follow and “have confidence” in the advice and instructions coming from the NEOC and HPA as these are for “our own safety”
Dr. Mathur added that it is every individual’s responsibility to put the simple measures being put in place, into practice and work with the technical teams so that capacities are being built in the health system to adequately prepare to support the people further.
I would again acknowledge the huge commitment from the government and the people of Maldives and I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the continuing commitment for investing in health system response so that we could be well prepared for a final recovery in the days to come, for the socio-economic impact that this Covid-19 would be having, remember, we are in it together, it is not only the issue about saving lives but also livelihoods and we should look into the situation where these health investments would help the country for a final recovery in the days to come as well. I again congratulate Minister Ameen, I really appreciate and thank the CEO of IGMH and his entire team for the tireless effort they have been putting to the Covid-19 and we, as a trusted partner remain together with the ministry and everyone in the Maldives as the WHO neutral trusted policy advisor and collaboratorDr. Mathur
On two separate occasions previously, the WHO had donated a total of 6,000 testing kits to the Maldives, and with the recent donation, the international health agency has donated a total of 11,000 testing kits to the Maldives.
Thus far, Maldives has seen 19 confirmed cases out of which 15 are foreign, and four local cases.