National airline Maldivian confirmed on Saturday that the airline will operate flights to Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Cochin, India, to bring back the locals stuck in these states due to nationwide lock-downs implemented by the neighbouring countries to contain the spread of COVID-19.
According to the airline, two flights are scheduled for Colombo on Sunday at 1500hrs and 1856hrs, while one is scheduled for Cochin on Monday at 1900hrs. Any locals who wish to board these flights are required to send their name, address and phone number along with their passport copies to Maldivian's Viber page.
The Maldivian government has been providing aid via the country's universal health insurance scheme Aasandha and National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) to those stuck in foreign countries due to travel restrictions.
Moreover, the state made arrangements for the families back home to send care packages to their loved ones under lockdown in Sri Lanka.
Presently, Maldives records 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1,202,400 people and claimed over 64,700 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 246,600 people have recovered.