Amidst the escalating COVID-19 global pandemic and the recent outbreak in the Maldives, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has given out directives to the general public to refrain from mass public gatherings, not to panic and to work together in adhering to the instructions and advice given by Healthcare Professionals at this critical time. He made this statement while delivering his address to the nation this evening at the President’s Office.
During his remarks, the President emphasized the recent WHO declaration that COVID-19, earlier classified as an epidemic, has now been classified as a global pandemic. He shed light on the medical challenges faced by the global community.
Delivering his address, the President stated that his Administration is taking all relevant measures in light of the current situation in the country and in accordance with the guidance and instructions of local and global medical professionals. In this regard, the President stated that the Maldives has conducted a national risk assessment, identified the depth of the incoming economic impact and shared this information with the public.
Moreover, the President noted that the Minister of Health, Abdulla Ameen, announced a Public Health Emergency in the Maldives earlier today in accordance with the provisions within the Maldives Constitution, following a thorough analysis of the national risk assessment data and under the advisement of the Director-General of Public Health.
President Solih also highlighted the importance of taking individual responsibility in following the directives of healthcare professionals, making a special note to urge all members of the public to uphold the maintenance of their personal hygiene. He also instructed that any person displaying warning signs of a possible infection should immediately report it to the COVID-19 hotline (1676) and further urged those already in isolation to strictly follow the instructions given by the authorities.
Speaking in this regard, the President touched upon some of the measures taken by the government to combat this pandemic. He stated that some of the measures include temporarily putting incoming and outgoing travel-bans on COVID-19 heavy-hit countries.
Moreover, the President also stressed on the resulting impact to the world economy, elaborating on the significant drop between forecasted numbers for the national GDP growth and tourism arrivals prior to the outbreak and now. Nevertheless, the President stated that the government has no intention to reduce the wages of government employees nor has any intention to halt any development project that has already been initiated. However, the President also stated that the government has begun to strategically reduce government expenditure through other means.
During his speech, the President emphasized the importance of assisting those in need, especially in the health sector. He also extended deep appreciation, from himself and the Maldivian people to the health care professionals working tirelessly day and night to help the afflicted and to terminate this pandemic before it takes root further into the community.
Furthermore, the President re-affirmed the governments’ commitment to continue providing the public with factually truthful information and stated that the government would keep taking all precautionary measures necessary to protect the people of Maldives.