President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday appealed to civil servants, requesting their support and assistance in national emergency response efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 across Maldives.
In a directive issued by the President's Office, he requested civil servants, employees in judicial service, and employees of State-owned enterprises, to assist in various aspects of the work assigned to and being undertaken by the COVID-19 taskforces, local councils, and government offices in cities and island, as may be required.
Emphasizing the importance of cooperating with authorities at this time, the directive further urged individuals in need to request aid from any state official or organization, as well as to make all arrangements necessary to better facilitate the services they are tasked with, to protect and serve the Maldivian people.
President Solih also recognized that at present, civil servants are placed at the frontlines, battling this disease with the established COVID-19 taskforces.
Stating as such, he requested all civil servants to further adhere to the instructions and orders extended by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC).
"As COVID-19 is rapidly spreading across the country, the workload of COVID-19 task forces have drastically increased in the majority of cities, atolls and islands", said the President.
"And [they] now require the support of island and atoll councils as well as government officials including civil servants, judicial service employees, and employees from state-owned companies and enterprises, in order to successfully to carry out the tasks and instructions delivered by the relevant authorities, to collectively fight and overcome this pandemic."
Maldives' first confirmed case of COVID-19 within the capital city of Male', was recorded on April 15, involving a local woman who presented to the flu clinic in Malé after developing coronavirus-like symptoms.
HPA placed the greater Male' region under lockdown for 24 hours after the case was confirmed. Authorities extended the measures for a 14-day period on April 16 after new cases surfaced.
Although an index patient for the outbreak is yet to be identified, the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC)'s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Monday, predicted that community spread of the virus began two to three weeks ago.
Maldives now records 86 confirmed and 70 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.5 million people and claimed over 177,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 690,300 people have recovered.