The cabinet of ministers, on Tuesday, approved the decision to cut the salaries of political appointees by 20 percent and close government offices from March 19 to 26 as measures against the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, the cabinet also decided to reduce government expenses by MVR 1 billion.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih recently revealed that the government were to lose between USD 135.9 million (MVR 2.5 billion) and USD 446.6 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in state revenue this year under current circumstances amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Coalition leader Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) also proposed slashing 20 percent off MP's salaries. This amounts to MVR 8,500 per member and an overall monthly figure of MVR 739,000.
Currently there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maldives, including a tourist couple on a liveaboard, two cases from Anantara Dhigu, five foreign nationals from Kuredu Island Resort as well as two foreign citizens from Sandies Bathala and Kuramathi Maldives each. No locals have tested positive for the virus as of yet.
Maldives announced a state of public health emergency last Thursday, under which the government has implemented several measures. This includes travel restrictions to and from resorts and banning guesthouses and hotels in the Greater Male' region from accepting more tourist bookings for a period of 14 days.
The government also banned entry from Spain and parts of Germany and France, in addition to China, Italy, Iran, Bangladesh and four regions of South Korea.