Malé, Maldives – CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva Luxury resort Chain, Sonu Shivdasani has revealed that the Soneva Foundation funded Maafaru lab located in Noonu Atoll, is the cheapest commercial Covid-19 testing facility in the Maldives.
In an op-ed written to local new outlet ‘The Edition’, regarding Covid-19 and the tourism industry of the Maldives, Sonu said that the cost of a test from the laboratory, which opened six months ago, has gone down from USD 100 to USD 55, making it the most affordable commercial testing facility in the country.
Having have revealed this, Sonu highlighted the importance of resorts having operating procedures to have tourists and employees undergo testing during multiple stages of their stay in the resort, in order to curb the spread of the virus.
The Government may need to nudge resorts into testing more – at least to test all of their employees and guests before they can move freely about the island. The Government could, for example, provide a star rating to each resort for COVID safety — those that test a lot, and take other precautions, would receive a higher star rating. This approach could be a strong incentive for resorts to test more, which would gradually eliminate community spread in resorts.Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva luxury resorts chain — exerpt from The Edition
This comes days after the laboratory came under fire with claims that multiple tests performed by the laboratory turned out to be faulty. However, ADK Hospitals, which was the medical institution handling the facility at the time denied any such claims and reassured the public that all tests carried out in the lab were as per the quality and standards set be health care authorities.
ADK Hospitals has since left the supervision of the laboratory, after the 6 month contract with the hospital ended. During this time, the laboratory was also shut down for upgrades, after which it opened on this Sunday, approved by the relevant authorities of the Maldives.