MALE: Maldives has reported first case of its citizen testing positive for COVID-19, the local media reported.
Addressing a press conference at the National Emergency Operating Centre, the country's Health Minister Abdulla Ameen on Friday said that the Maldivian, 38, who was in quarantine since arriving from Britain on March 22 has tested positive for the virus, raising the total number of cases to 16.
He added that the individual had tested for the virus on March 25 after showing symptoms of the infection.
The Maldives, a South Asian country of nearly half a million of population, has other cases of coronavirus, but all of them are foreigners, while nine have fully recovered, Anadolu agency reported.
The country is currently under a state of public health emergency and the government has taken several steps to stop the spread of the virus in the country including suspending the issuing of visas on-arrival.
Meanwhile, China's envoy to the Maldives Ambassador Zhang Lizhon, announced on his Twitter handle that Beijing sent its first batch of "emergency medical supplies" to the island nation today.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 176 countries and territories.
According to data compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University, more than 549,600 cases have been reported worldwide since last December, with the death toll above 24,800, and over 127,500 recoveries.