Minister of Economic Development, Fayyaz Ismail on Monday urged telecommunication companies against disconnecting services for customers unable to pay bills as a result of the financial difficulties experienced amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The minister made the statement in response to a tweet criticizing Dhiraagu and Ooredoo Maldives for disconneting communication services for cutomers experiencing difficulties to pay their bills on time.
While acknowledging and expressing gratitude for the support extended by both companies, Fayyaz urged against disconnections due to the situation in the country.
"It will be well appreciated if you could hold the disconnections during this dark and painful time."
Several people that replied to the minister's tweet highlighted that some people did not have any way to pay their bills due to the disconnections and lack of access to customer care services.
Although, Ooredoo Maldives previously assured continued services for customers unable to pay their bills in April, the company has yet to announce an extension of the measure for this month.
Maldives' capital Male' was placed under lockdown following its first recorded case of COVID-19 on April 15, leaving thousands of citizens dependent on telecommunication services to access crucial information and acquire essential services.
Lockdown measures in other islands across the country, implemented in response to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, have similarly highlighted an increased dependency and importance of uninterrupted telecommunication services.