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COVID-19: Govt waives lease payments for resorts used for quarantine

Mariyam Malsa
24 March 2020, MVT 13:42
PO Communications Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez and Dr Mohamed Ismail during a press conference regarding the COVID-19 situation in Maldives on March 23, 2020. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
24 March 2020, MVT 13:42

The government, on Monday, announced the decision to waive lease payments for resorts during the period the islands are utilised as quarantine facilities for confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19.

Speaking at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) press conference held Monday night, President's Office's Communications Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez denied rumors that the state was waiving lease payments for extended periods.

"I have received several questions concerning rumors that the government is waiving lease payments for periods of one or two years. This is not so."

He revealed that agreements were signed to suspend payments for the duration in which the government will utilize the resorts.

Additionally, Mabrooq revealed that the government would remunerate resorts converted to quarantine facilities at a rate of MVR 750 per room, in order to cover the expense of arranging food and other necessary services for individuals placed under quarantine. He noted that an average MVR 325 would be spent per patient, if two individuals shared a room.

Mabrooq stated that the aforementioned figure was low compared to expenses incurred by patients admitted in hospitals or individuals detained in prison.

However, the Communications Undersecretary stated that the government continued to spend a considerable amount of money on the facilities, with 550 individuals under quarantine at present.

Furthermore, Mabrooq revealed that the government opted to establish resorts as temporary quarantine facilities due to the considerable time and cost that would be required to build such facilities from scratch.

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. No Maldivians 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 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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