President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has partnered with local media to inaugurate the “Covid Huhtuvaanee Aharen” campaign which highlights individual responsibility in controlling the spread of Covid-19. The President expressed that this is a necessary and timely campaign, the success of which depends on the collective support of government institutions, NGOs, and individuals.
Reiterating the frequent advice of the country’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) to limit the risk of exposure to Covid-19, the President emphasised the importance of individuals not going outside their homes unless necessary, and to wear a mask when it is necessary to do so. He also reminded people of the importance of washing their hands frequently, practising good personal hygiene, and listening to the health authorities.
At this point in the Maldives, 29 individuals have passed away from the disease, and these losses affect their respective families and loved ones, as well as the entire country, the President remarked. To bring down numbers and prevent further tragedy, he stressed, will require greater personal diligence and precaution.
President Solih also spoke regarding the role of the media in preventing misinformation regarding the pandemic and presenting an accurate picture of the health-risk within the country to local and international audiences. He praised the Maldives’ media for their proactive efforts to bring information and analysis to the public, remarking on the importance of an independent, thoughtful and ethical media, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. The President appealed to all those who work in the media field to always convey accurate news that does not mislead or sensationalise.
He also noted that the media can play a vital role in reviving the country’s economically essential tourism industry, by emphasising the minimal health risk to tourists travelling. He highlighted this in light of several factors such as the country’s scattered atoll geography; the strict restrictions on inter-island travel; the lack of community spread of Covid-19 outside of Malé; and the tourism industry’s enforcement of stringent safety guidelines in the Maldives’ tourist resorts, all of which adhere to the ‘one island, one resort’ concept and do not directly interact with population centres. The President stressed that it is especially important to highlight the country’s safety-virtues to tourists as we prepare to open guest-houses on 15 October.
Ending his remarks, President Solih prayed that the “Covid Huhtuvaanee Aharen” campaign will succeed with the blessings of Allah Almighty and that the country will be rid of the disease.