The Maldivian government, on Friday, announced it was working on bringing in 19,000 more test kits to identify COVID-19 cases.
At a press conference at the National Emergency Operations Center on Friday night, government spokesperson Mabrouq Azeez said the Maldives currently had over 3,000 test kits, and that the World Health Organization (WHO) had pledged to send 5,000 more.
10,000 more test kits are coming in from the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, and 10,000 more from the Chinese government.
Maldives had initially conducted virus testing by sending samples to neighboring India, but later established testing facilities at Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in the capital with the assistance of WHO.
A 38-year-old Maldivian national who returned from the UK tested positive for the virus on Friday, marking the first Maldivian national to be confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.
It brings the total number of people to have tested positive for the virus in Maldives to 16, including the two Italian nationals who were allowed to depart from Maldives following 14-day quarantine, but whose samples, taken before their departure, tested positive for the virus.