President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih shared the situation of Maldives amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with the Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom, on Wednesday afternoon.
During the discussion held over the telephone, President Solih gave an overview of the local situation, highlighting that despite the 19 cases documented in the country so far, there has been no community spread.
He outlined the measures and interventions implemented by the government to curb the virus’ spread, notably the 30-day state of public health emergency declared on March 12 under which the state enacted several steps including prevention of public gatherings, banning flights from high risk countries, imposing travel restrictions between resorts and inhabited islands, halting on-arrival visas, and quarantining all Maldivians returning from abroad for a mandatory two-week period.
Although Maldives currently does not have community spread, the president also noted that the government initiated preparations since January to enable response in such an event. These actions include increasing the number of patient beds and intensive care facilities, and development of further testing services throughout Maldives.
However, the president noted the challenges in procuring essential items due to the increasing precautionary measures around the world and requested WHO’s assistance to overcome them.
President Solih further hailed the organisation's efforts to raise awareness on curbing the spread of COVID-19 and mobilising resources to fight the pandemic, conveying his gratitude in particular to the WHO country team in Maldives.
He thanked Dr Adhanom for the additional test kits recently provided by WHO to Maldives.
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 1,436,800 people and claimed over 82,400 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 303,700 people have recovered.