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'Maldives will beat COVID-19', says Tourism Minister Ali Waheed

Ahmed Aiham
20 March 2020, MVT 21:58
tourism minister ali waheed addressed the UNWTO's virtual meeting
Ahmed Aiham
20 March 2020, MVT 21:58

Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed said "Maldives will beat COVID-19 with support from the rest of the world" during the World Tourism Organization (WTO)'s 'Global Tourism Coordination Virtual Meeting' held Thursday

World Tourism Organization's tweet after the meeting concluded. PHOTO: TWITTER

Speaking at the virtual conference, Minister Waheed, who is the WTO South Asia Regional Commission's Chair, urged citizens to refrain from assuming that "your community will not be affected", and to "prepare as if it will be".

"Do not assume you would not be infected", he said.

Highlighting the status of Maldives during the COVID-19 pandemic, Waheed added that the "government is making steadfast and timely decisions to flatten the curve on transmissions”.

Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed during the virtual meeting. PHOTO: TWITTER

Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, under which the government has implemented several measures. This includes travel restrictions to and from resorts, and temporary suspension of tourist check-ins in guesthouses and hotels around the country.

In addition, the island nation has banned entry from China, Italy, Iran, Bangladesh, Spain, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and parts of South Korea, France and Germany.

“We have to be positive to prevail, and we will prevail “ concluded the Minister.

The meeting was joined by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili and WTO Executive Council Chair Najib Balala, International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Secretary General Kitack Lim and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s Secretary General Fang Liu, among others.

Maldives currently has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19. No locals have tested positive for the virus as of yet.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 245,600 and claimed over 10,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 88,400 have recovered.

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