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COVID-19: Maldives extends closure of government offices

Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2020, MVT 20:07
A screengrab of the live address by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, following the first community spread case of COVID-19 in the Maldives and in capital city Male'. PHOTO: PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2020, MVT 20:07

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday extended the closure of all government offices until May 14, over the 14-day extension of the Greater Male' Region lockdown to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Maldives.

The president's directive stated despite the temporary closure of public institutions, that all essential services to the public must continue without interruption, per the President's Office.

He reiterated his appeal to all state employees to fully support and cooperate with the government's efforts to control the transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He also called on them to continue working from home if possible and opt for online platforms to provide services.

The essential services that will be provided in this duration include:

- Health care providers, Pharmacies

- Water, Electricity and Sewerage services

- Broadcasting services

- Telecommunication and Internet services

- Banking services

- Cooking gas supplies and Fuel supply services

- Airports and Seaport services

- Maldives Customs Service, Maldives Immigration, Aviation Security Command

- MNDF and Police services

- Fire and Rescue services

- Judiciary services and courts

- Diplomatic and consular services

- Social protection services

- Orphanages and shelter services

- Correctional services

- Waste management services

- Meteorological services

The Greater Malé area was initially placed under full lock-down on April 15, following the first confirmed case of 'community spread' in the capital. It was then extended until April 30, prior to the new development.

In addition to the lockdown, the government on Thursday also extended the State of Public Health Emergency until the end of May.

Presently, Maldives records 396 confirmed and 378 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 17 recoveries. The country recorded its first virus death, an 83-year-old local female, on Wednesday evening.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3.2 million people and claimed over 228,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than one million people have recovered.

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