South Korea donates 150 test kits, enough for 15,000 tests

South Korea donates PCR test kits to Maldives on July 18, 2020. (Photo/Foreign Ministry)

South Korea has donated 150 test kits to Maldives, to aid in the efforts to combat the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

The 150 PCR test kits can be used to conduct 15,000 tests.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shaheed, in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, described the donation as a “gracious and timely contribution.”

He thanked the South Korean government for the donation, singling out the South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and the South Korean Ambassador Jeong Woon-Jin in his message of appreciation.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the donation signifies South Korea’s goodwill towards the Maldivian people, especially in times of need such as the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Government of Maldives believes that the donation will go a long way in complementing the efforts by the Government to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” said the Foreign Ministry in its statement.

The Foreign Ministry said Maldives and South Korea enjoys close bilateral relations, and that Maldives looks forward to strengthening the ties between the two countries in the years to come.

South Korea’s donation of test kits comes as the Maldivian government works on expanding coronavirus management facilities into five regions; B. Eydhafushi, Sh. Funadhoo, L. Gan, G. A. Vilingili, and Addu City.

The facilities in Eydhafushi and Funadhoo opened last week, while the facilities in Gan, Vilingili and Addu City are scheduled to be complete within this week.

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12.

While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown.

The populous Male’ City has since become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, contributing to over 90 percent of the total cases.

2,913 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Maldives, out of whom 2,340 have recovered and 15 have died.

The number of active coronavirus cases is 543 and the recovery rate stands at 80 percent.

World Health Organization (WHO) and several other international organizations and bilateral partners have donated test kits and other medical equipment and consumables to assist Maldives in its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The honorary consul from South Korea to the Maldives is Sun Siyaam Group's Chairman and MP for Dh. Meedhoo Ahmed Siyam