Statistics show hike of 1179% in face mask imports

Maldives Ports Limited (MPL). (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Statistics from Maldives customs have shown that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest number of item imported into the Maldives during the first three months of 2020 were face masks.

The data showed that the country imported a whopping 4.9 million face masks, which is a staggering increase of 1179 percent. The masks imported accounted for MVR 17 million.

Import duties have been slashed from several medical types of equipment due to the situation with COVID-19 and face masks are just one of these items.

The second-highest number of imported items according to the data were food items, most notably chicken. A total of 3,462 tons of chicken were imported which is an increase of 61 percent compared with last year.

The third highest item imported were staple food items such as flour, rice, and sugar. A total of 19,376.2 tons were imported which is an increase of 34 percent.

April 22, 2020: Photo shows a worker transporting a sack of onions in the market area of Male' City.

Onions imported to the Maldives remained at the same level as last year with 3080 tons. 

The import of eggs into the country also increased by 9 percent which 47.39 eggs imported in the first three months of 2020.

Cooking gas imported into the country reduced by 21 percent with 3573 tons imported. 

Petrol imported increased by 12 percent with 24,427 tons of petrol. Diesel imports also increased by four percent with 157,093 tons imported. 

Import figures related to diapers and sanitary napkins also reduced by 5 percent and 16 percent respectively.