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Maldives to reopen govt offices, resume business operations from July 1

Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 June 2020, MVT 13:14
Velanage Building in Male' City, which houses a number of government offices. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 June 2020, MVT 13:14

Maldives will reopen government offices and allow businesses to resume operations this Wednesday onwards.

As the country enters the 'new normal' amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared that businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants can restart services from July, while government institutions will also reopen doors.

The decision comes in the wake of the president's announcement late Monday, that the country will enter a new phase in the fight against COVID-19 on July 1.

Under this new phase, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) will be dissolved and its responsibilities transferred to the Ministry of Health.

President Solih expressed gratitude to all front lines workers for their efforts in responding and managing the pandemic.

The government declared a lockdown across the Greater Male' Region on April 15, closing down government offices, businesses and schools following the detection of the first local transmission of Maldives in capital Male'.

Authorities commenced a phased easing of lockdown restrictions on May 28, with the second phase beginning on June 15.

Although the nationwide travel ban has been lifted and the capital area is entering the 'new normal' with the easing of restrictions, the government has extended the State of Public Health Emergency, first declared on March 12, until July 14 as there is still the risk of COVID-19 community spread.

Maldives presently has a total of 2,337 confirmed cases, out of which 397 are active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 1,927 recoveries and eight fatalities.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 10.4 million people and claimed over 508,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 5.6 million people have recovered.