USAID donates 200,000 Covid-19 antigen test kits to Maldives

Photo: Health Ministry

Malé, Maldives – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over 200,000 Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits to the Maldives on Thursday.

The US has gifted the Maldives these tests amid a Covid-19 case surge in June 2022 resulting in increased hospitalizations and fatalities. Covid-19 sample rate nationwide has increased from a steady 4 percent in May 2022 to a whopping 35 percent as of 25 June 2022.

Health authorities have reopened flu clinics and testing centres amid the recent Covid-19 surge in the greater Malé area and regional hubs like Addu City.

US has donated over 500,000 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines the United States donated to the Maldives throughout 2021 and in January 2022. The United States through the U.S. USAID also supported the Maldives to safely distribute and deliver these vaccines across the atolls, train health workers and encourage people to get vaccinated safely and effectively.

Since the pandemic first broke out in March 2020, USAID has provided more than $7 million in COVID-19 assistance plus an in-kind donation of 60 ventilators to the Maldives. This assistance provided life-saving treatment, strengthened clinical care, mobilized critical supplies to strengthen the response, helped expand social protection services, and supported the development of effective economic, fiscal, and monetary measures in response to the pandemic.

Worldwide, the United States has pledged more than 1.2 billion vaccines and as of April 2022, delivered more than 533 million to 115 countries. The United States is also the largest donor to the global vaccine initiative, COVAX.