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COVID-19: Maldives provides food, shelter to 136 individuals

Fathmath Shaahunaz
26 April 2020, MVT 10:22
Communications Undersecretary at the President's Office Mabrouq Abdul Azeez speaks at the NEOC press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic on April 25, 2020. PHOTO/NEOC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
26 April 2020, MVT 10:22

National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) announced late Saturday that authorities have provided food and shelter to 136 individuals in need during the ongoing lockdown in the greater Male' region.

Speaking at the NEOC press briefing, Communications Undersecretary at the President's Office Mabrouq Abdul Azeez disclosed that 89 individuals are still in shelter facilities, provided by the Social Council under the initiative of the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services.

According to Mabrouq, Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH) is providing food to the people in shelters, as well as other individuals in need in capital Male', during the holy fasting month of Ramdan which began Friday.

"So far, Iftar (meal to break fast) was provided to 189 people and Suhoor (meal taken before fast) to 185", said Mabrouq.

In response to a reporter's concern raised over HIH being an isolation facility, Mabrouq elaborated that the food is prepared in accordance with safety standards. He further assured that the teams involved in preparing the food and delivering them never come into contact with each other.

Noting that meal deliveries were delayed to some households due to the high numbers reported to authorities, Mabrouq added that the issue would be addressed and improved.

NEOC had stated last week that the Social Council and gender ministry would ensure that both locals and expatriates in need during Ramadan amid the lockdown, were provided with food and other essential needs.

Concerns were raised over the matter as expatriate workers, known to usually break their fasts at the Iftars provided at mosques during Ramadan, would not receive that arrangement this year.

NEOC further disclosed that the government was working with the Maldivian Red Crescent to collect information on expatriate contractors, identify labour quarters, and provide expatriates with the relevant information. He stated that the bodies in question will work together to provide food and other essentials to those identified as being in need.

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