Dr Ibrahim Faisal urged all store staff, from shop keepers to those doing deliveries and heavy lifting, to wear protective gloves and reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19, as the pandemic spreads across the globe.
Speaking as representative for the medical community at the daily held press conference on behalf of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Tuesday, the doctor emphasised on the importance of following the guidelines laid out by the health protection agency (HPA).
Adding that certain responsibility fell on business owners to ensure that their employees abide by the regulations, Dr Faisal stated that it is particularly vital for store staff to strengthen their protective measures being that a large number of people visit commercial areas for necessary purposes.
Further, the doctor stressed on possible steps such as installing barriers between cashiers and customers.
“If protective measures are not further strengthened, the risk [of contracting the disease] will increase”, said Dr Faisal.
He iterated that the curfew measures, which restrict movement between 1700 - 2000 hours across the greater Male’ region, were implemented because of a necessity to reduce risks for all.
However, he went on to say, if people continue to gather in masses around the hours prior to or following the curfew, the purpose of implementing such measures would be lost.
Stating as above, he advised people to manage their time wisely and not to crowd outlets close to the curfew hours, choosing to go at times spread out in the non-curfew hours.
Following HPA's move to restrict movement in the capital city and across all islands, a number of shops, restaurants and cafe's have begun providing delivery and take out services, to reduce the need for people to come to their outlets. A number of other business applications, including local media house Mihaaru, has also transformed available platforms to those that provide delivery services as well.
Presently, Maldives has 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 1,434,200 people and claimed over 82,100 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 302, 450 people have recovered.