Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi announced on Sunday night that work is underway to establish a detox centre in the Greater Male' region to provide rehabilitation services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference held by National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Minister Aishath further declared that "setting up a temporary drug offenders remand centre is also in progress".
Noting that there is a considerable population of drug users, including those requiring rehabilitation and those sentenced to jail for discontinuing their rehabilitation programmes, Aishath noted that this portion of individuals was a key group of society as well.
Moreover, the minister confirmed that all classes and sessions held at the Community Centre by the National Drug Agency (NDA) were temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
"However, drug testing will take place three times a week", she said.
Currently, a total of 126 individuals are under the care of the Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre (DTRC) at Himmafushi, Kaafu Atoll, while 391 are undergoing community treatment after completing their time at the rehabilitation centre.
Minister Aishath vowed to protect the rights of all the individuals falling under the mandate of the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.
She further assured that all centres operating under the ministry have food reserves that can last well over a month, in addition to two or more isolation rooms.
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 (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1,274,346 people and claimed over 69,480 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 264,838 people have recovered.