As a country renowned for tourism, the coronavirus outbreak directly affects the economy of Maldives. The island nation has been keeping a close eye on the situation across the world and taking all the necessary precautionary measures to combat an outbreak.
The first cases of coronavirus in the Maldives were reported on 7th March 2020 from Kuredu Island Resort. As of today, there are 10 confirmed cases in Maldives, including the two cases from Sandies Bathala resort, two cases from Kuramathi Island Resort & Spa, and one from Anantara Dhigu Resort. Currently, there are 18 individuals in quarantine facilities, 09 in isolation and 02 in the hospital.
We have been taking appropriate measures and preparations against the virus prior to it being diagnosed in the Maldives. Government is using the available resources while following WHO protocols regarding the crisis. To overcome this situation, we need everyone’s help and we advice people to avoid public gatherings. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been working tirelessly day and night to stop the virus from spreading in the Maldives.”Ibrahim Solih, President of Maldives
From the initial flare-up of the virus, the Maldivian government has been quick in following the protocols. As of now, passengers travelling to Maldives from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy as well as Bangladesh has been banned until further notice. Moreover, entry of passengers from all provinces and regions of Spain, passengers from Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Wuttemberg in Germany, as well as from Ile-de-France and Grand Est in France has been restricted too. Reference: Civil Aviation Authority website.
While the country has effective medical emergency from 12th March 2020, Health Protection Agency (HPA) has also imposed a temporary ban on tourists checking into guesthouses and hotels for a period of 14 days within the greater Male’ area. The ban will be effective from 00:00 hours of 15th March 2020. Guests who are already checked into hotels and guesthouses in the area can stay until their checkout date. Reference: Health Protection Agency.
Airports have been taking all the necessary steps to ensure public health, by conducting thermal imaging and hand held temperature checks, thorough disinfection and cleaning up throughout the day.
Airlines in Maldives have stepped up to help create the best protective environment for their passengers, by providing hand sanitizer to all passengers and routine sanitization and disinfectants of aircrafts. Moreover, flight attendants are provided with safety masks and gloves, and the check-in staffs are instructed and trained to deal with any situation with regards to the virus.
Resorts have been monitoring the in-house guests as well as the staff while keeping close communications with HPA to be informed of the situation. Medical personals are available on standby for any emergencies on the islands.
In order to prevent an outbreak, authorities have taken advantage of the geographical isolation and created quarantine facilities away from capital, Male’. Initially Farukolhufushi, and then Villivaru which was completed just 10 days as the second isolation facility.
While speaking to media, Minister Of Tourism, Ali Waheed highlighted, that Villivaru facility will be extended to 100 beds facility and preparation of another facility in A.A Velidhoo, which was previously operated as a tourist resort.
With HPA informing the community of the situation on social media platforms and via text messages.
It looks like with the right measures and awareness along a cautious and preventive lifestyle, Maldives can minimize the impact of the virus and overcome it.
There’s been so much attention on one word.Tedros Adhanom, Director General of WHO
Let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable.
– Public Health.
– Political Leadership.
And most of all, people.
we’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It’s doable.
I thank you.”
Feature Photo by Ali Hashim Smith