Here’s Why Speaker Nasheed Could Be Right About the Virus

Ever since the pandemic entered Maldives, former president and current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has been criticised several times due to his statements such as “parliamentarians among COVID-19 frontline workers” and “restricting entry is not a feasible solution”. However, could he be right about one thing?

During July, Nasheed stated that the country needs to find ways to live with the pandemic as the cases keep on rising while the country has opened its borders for foreign tourists. He said that if the government closes its borders once again, it could lead to the citizens going bankrupt and cause worse damages and losses.

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Before this, Nasheed claimed that HPA’s surveys project 8,000 cases in Maldives. According to the latest update by HPA, over 11,000 cases have been confirmed in the country. Active cases have been recorded in 21 inhabited islands and in 18 resorts including 15 tourists and 26 staff.


Have a look at another infectious disease: measles. Measles infected people for 1,500 years, killing more than one million people annually during the 20th century alone before John Enders and Thomas Peebles isolated the virus in 1954 and developed a vaccine nine years later.  However, for diseases such as malaria and HIV, there are no vaccines yet.

During May,  WHO emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear. “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Dr Ryan told the virtual press conference from Geneva.

As of now, all eyes are on vaccine development. According to National Geographic, more than 150 coronavirus vaccines are in development across the world—and hopes are high to bring one to market in record time to ease the global crisis. It also said that it can typically take 10 to 15 years to bring a vaccine to market; the fastest-ever—the vaccine for mumps—required four years in the 1960s. 

This being the case, Nasheed might have been right about “living with the virus”.

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