United States of America has donated 60 portable critical care ventilators to the Maldives.
The ventilators were handed over to the Maldivian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Omar Abdul Razzaq, by United States’ Ambassador to Maldives, Alaina Teplitz, at a ceremony held in Colombo on Thursday morning.
The critical care ventilators are to be dispersed to hospitals across 20 atolls, through the Ministry of Health.
The handover ceremony was held virtually, with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in attendance, as well as other senior officials from the health and foreign ministries.
Speaking at the event, the foreign minister noted that the United States “has always proven to be a close and a reliable friend, especially during challenging times such as now.”
Shahid also thanked Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, and the United States government for the “continuous unwavering” support extended to the Maldives and noted that such generosity and friendship from close partners “have increased the capacity of the country’s front-line workers to combat the spread of the virus as well as address long-term goals such as reviving the economy.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the “generous” donation was facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “to increase the capacity and enhance the preparedness of the health sector of the Maldives to support the Covid-19 response and recovery efforts.”
It added that the critical supplies “not only complement the government’s efforts to control and contain the spread of Covid-19 but also play a vital role in expanding the capacity of the Intensive Care Units at hospitals even after the pandemic, to treat patients suffering from other respiratory illnesses.”
The United States has contributed over USD four million to the Maldives, since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
This includes a grant aid of USD two million, multiple donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), PCR machine and related equipment, as well as donations through several multilateral agencies.