World Wise Foods' chairman donates 75,000 surgical masks to Maldives

Surgical masks donated by John Burton, the founder and chairman of World Wise Foods to Maldives National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on May 30, 2020.

John Burton, the founder and chairman of World Wise Foods from the United Kingdom, has donated the Maldives National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with 75,000 disposable surgical masks.

The surgical masks were donated to assist frontline workers in Maldives in the fight to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I hope this donation would be useful for the frontline workers who have been fighting day and night to keep the Maldivian community safe. This is a difficult time for everyone, and I hope it provides some relief,” said John Burton.

Meanwhile, the Director General of NDMA, Safeenaz thanked John Burton for the generous donation.

“We will be using these masks in quarantine and isolation facilities. We will also distribute them to the frontline workers who are working tirelessly in the COVID-19 operations,” she said.

World Wise Foods has been sourcing tuna products from Maldives for the European markets for a number of years. A key stakeholder in the Maldivian tuna industry, the company also provided assistance towards the upgrade of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO).

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic four days later on March 11. It ceased the issuance of on-arrival visas and closed its borders on March 27.

While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown and a nationwide ban on nonessential travel.

The populous capital has since become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, contributing to over 1,500 of the country’s 1,633 cases.

While coronavirus cases have increased to 1,633, 242 patients have recovered and five have died from complications.

Maldives, in a bid to promote economic activity, eased some of its restrictions on Thursday.