The government of Japan on Friday extended an emergency grant totalling USD 541,400 to aid Maldives’ response over the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan is donating USD 356,400 to UNICEF while the remaining USD 185,500 will go to the Maldives Red Crescent.
The ministry stated that the grant will be utilised to procure medical equipment and consumables, in addition to providing technical assistance for the installation of new communications systems in various schools for online teaching programs and teleclasses.
The Maldivian government expressed its appreciation to the Japanese government and their people for their timely assistance, noting that it would “go a long way in complementing the existing efforts by the government in combatting COVID-19”.
Japan has been an important bilateral development partner of the Maldives for several decades, helping in areas of education, infrastructure development, and climate change adaptation projects including the construction of the sea-wall around Male’.
Japan was among the first countries to provide financial assistance to the Maldives in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as well.
Currently, Maldives records 481 confirmed, 464 active cases of COVID-19 and a total of 17 recoveries. The country recorded its first virus death, an 83-year-old local female, on Wednesday evening.
Following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15, Malé has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. The city is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
The disease has also disproportionately affected the country’s large expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals and live in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing.
In addition to the capital, COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Uligan in Haa Alif Atoll, Narudhoo and Milandhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, and Thulusdhoo in Kaafu Atoll.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3.4 million people and claimed over 239,823 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than a million people have recovered.
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Source URL: Google News