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Maldives Customs Service has revealed the import of face masks has increased to an all-time high during the first three months of 2020.
Statistics from Customs revealed 4.9 million face masks were imported to the Maldives between January and March of this year, which is worth a total of USD 1.1 million. This is a 1,179% increase compared to the same period last year, when only USD 38,845 worth of face masks were imported.
The import of face masks and sanitisers have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government removed import duty and processing fees of face masks and sanitisers in March.
Meanwhile, the import of medicine has increased by 14% during the first three months of 2020. Import of medical consumables and hospital equipment has increased by 522%, with USD 8.9 million worth of medical equipment imported during this period. During the same period last year, only USD 1.4 million worth of medical equipment was imported to the Maldives.
Furthermore, the import of soap and disinfectants has also increased by 211% this year. Import duties of these items have also been removed by the government.