Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla made a statement on Wednesday in reference to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, which has required the government to take unprecedented measures to mitigate risks of infection and spread, urging all Maldivians to take their civic duty seriously and do their part to aid state efforts.
In an address given to commemorate the national ‘Martyr’s Day’, the home minister said that he was reminded, given the occasion, of the necessity for the people to once more work with the government and together rise from today’s dire circumstances.
Emphasizing on the history behind Martyr’s Day, Imran stated that it bore a number of lessons indicating that to maintain the sovereignty of the nation and ensure peace, it is imperative that the people abide by the rules and regulations set by the governing powers.
On that note, the minister expressed his deep gratitude to the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals for the tireless work they have been doing on a daily basis to combat a potential outbreak of the coronavirus in Maldives, dubbing the risk to their lives and sacrifice of hours spent away from loved ones as a “jihad” (struggle on behalf of Allah and Islam).
“To remain in safety, we must all follow the instructions that they (health care professionals and authorities) deliver to us”, said Imran, adding that even if all citizens acted as per their civic responsibilities, the situation still posed considerable risk to the lives of many vulnerable persons and therefore remained an issue of grave concern to the entire country.
However, the minister also highlighted that the responsibility of protecting the country and its people did not fall solely on the shoulders of the government, and that civic duty was key to navigating current circumstances.
“Each of us has a responsibility to protect one another and to our state, every Maldivian should embody this spirit”, said the minister, who also serves as the leader of Adhaalath Party, the more right-wing member of the ruling coalition.
Martyr's Day, known locally as ‘Shaheedhunge Dhuvas’, marks the date of Sultan Ali VI’s sacrifice. Allegedly largely on his own, the Sultan attempted to fight off vigilantes (of Portugese origin) that arrived in the capital, looking to seize power. He died in the battlefield in 1558 and is hailed a national hero.
Maldives now has 13 confirmed and eight active cases of COVID-19, with five recoveries. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections in Maldives with no record of local transmissions within the country. The first Maldivian tested positive for the virus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 428,200 and claimed over 19,100 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 109,900 have recovered.