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Maldives' tourism minister joins Global Tourism Crisis Committee

Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 March 2020, MVT 09:31
Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed speaks at the ceremony held at VIA to welcome the 1.5 millionth tourist of 2019 to Maldives, on November 24, 2019. FILE PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
24 March 2020, MVT 09:31

Maldives' Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed on Monday joined the 'Global Tourism Crisis Committee', convened by the United Nations' World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The committee was formed during the high-level virtual meeting held by the UNWTO on March 19, to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, the hardest hit industry in the global economic sector, and prepare to launch a global guide for recovery.

As the chair of UNWTO's South Asia Regional Commission, Tourism Minister Waheed took part in the meeting and accepted the invitation from the UNWTO Secretary-General to become part of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee.

According to UNWTO, the committee will hold regular virtual meetings in order to evaluate and proceed with recommendations on combating the negative repercussions on tourism as the pandemic situation evolves.

Minister Waheed had declared during last week's UNWTO meeting that "Maldives will beat COVID-19 with support from the rest of the world".

“We encourage the private sector, the international community and fellow citizens of the world to help each other, work together in solidarity and stay positive at these challenging times to defeat the virus”, he said.

Maldives now has 13 confirmed and eight active cases of COVID-19. The country recorded its first two recoveries on March 20, the third on March 21, and two more on March 23. The recovered patients are three Italians, one South African and one Turk.

No Maldivians have tested positive for the virus as of yet. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections with no local transmissions.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 381,400 and claimed over 16,500 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 102,400 have recovered.

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