COVID-19: ADB provides USD 5K in grant assistance to Maldives

COVID-19: ADB provides USD 5K in grant assistance to Maldives

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Sunday approved a USD 500,000 (MVR 7.7 million) grant from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to assist finance Maldivian government's response to COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Earlier, the ADB had provided a technical assistance grant of USD 100,000 for initial emergency support.

According to ADB, the grants are intended to ease government’s immediate financial, logistics, and other constraints to meet immediate relief response and deliver appropriate medical services where required.

The grants will further support the procurement of emergency medical goods and supplies; diagnostic equipment; materials for critical care facilities, including intensive care unit beds; and personal protection and other key medical equipment.

The ADB has pledged approximately USD 6.5 billion to address the needs of its developing member countries, which includes the Maldives, as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to ADB's support, the World Bank has extended to Maldives financial assistance amounting to USD 10 million.

On March 12, the Maldives health ministry declared a state of public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Since, the government has stopped issuing on-arrival visas, closed its borders for passengers travelling from COVID-19 hotspot countries, imposed travel restrictions between resorts and inhabited islands, and shut down government offices and public schools and universities temporarily in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Maldives now records 17 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 11 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions are recorded.

Currently, 20 people are placed in isolation facilities, while 824 are in quarantine facilities. As a preventative measure, HPA has ordered authorities to halt on-arrival visas from March 27 onwards. Furthermore, all inbound locals or visa holders will be placed under observation at a designated facility for a period of 14 days.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 677,705 people and claimed over 31,737 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 146,319 people have recovered.