With a number of growing COVID-19 cases, a new testing laboratory has been opened in Dharavandhoo in the Baa Atoll region of Maldives. As per state media reports, the new facility was inaugurated on Tuesday, November 10, by Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem. The facility can test 96 samples per hour.
In the Maldives, the total number of coronavirus cases crossed 12,000 this week. As per a tally by the Johns Hopkins University, Maldives has a total of 12,059 cases with 41 fatalities. The new facility is expected to ensure the safety of tourists and also resort staff on Baa Atoll.
In a separate development earlier, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla recently made a visit to the Maldives in order to discuss bilateral ties and strengthen the relationship. During the event, he ensured that when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed in India, Maldives will be among the first countries to receive it.
Shringla also reviews bilateral relations along with his Maldivian counterpart Abdul Ghafoor. Both of the officials discussed national approaches to battling the pandemic. Ghafoor appreciated the assistance that India has provided to the Maldives in the fight against the pandemic.
Maldivian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid said that the relationship between the two countries is built on common values and traditions. He added, "Ours is a relationship of people - built on shared values, shared culture and traditions... India is the undisputed first responder, the best of friends, an invaluable partner."
Shringla also participated in an event that involved handing over equipment for the setting up of Children's Parks in 67 islands spread out across the Atolls. He also visited Ekuveni ground in Male where a new running track is being laid out. The track is being funded by an Indian grant.