In the Maldives, a 14-year-old lost his life due to delays in crucial medical treatment. According to local media reports in the archipelago, the teen lost the battle as Maldives government was reluctant in allowing use of Indian Dornier aircraft to airlift him for timely medical evacuations.
The boy, who had a brain tumour and suffered a stroke, had his family request an air ambulance to transport him from his home in Gaaf Alif Villingili to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Male. However, their distress calls went unanswered until Thursday morning, when the Maldives' aviation authorities finally responded. Commenting on the death of the boy, Maldives MP Meekail Naseem said,“People shouldn’t have to pay with their lives to satisfy the President’s animosity towards India". Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu came to power on the back of a campaign to remove Indian Dornier Aircraft & Helicopters
Muizzu had asked India to withdraw the aircrafts and men who were stationed for the upkeep of the crafts. The helicopters have been utilised for humanitarian aid and supplies in the island nation. Over the last five years more than 500 medical evacuations have been carried out by Indian personnel saving 523 lives. India has been the first responder for Maldives on several occasions including 1988 coup attempt, 2004 Tsunami, 2014 water crisis as well as providing Vaccines against COVID.