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Situation Maldives: Preparing to Gradually Ease Restrictions

Maldives Police Services individual feeding the pigeons due to the situation in maldives.

The government of Maldives has been preparing for the ‘new normal’ phase with discussions in place to ease the lockdown and situation of Maldives after 28th May 2020. Maldives has been under a full lockdown for over a month now.

Addressing the nation on 20th May 2020, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih revealed the government’s plans for gradually easing the restrictive measures. He stated that the decisions will be taken in consultation with health authorities and will be phased, starting with the resumption of operations in businesses. The President also said that the country could open its borders as early as July. However, he stressed that the people should continue maintaining social distancing measures and strictly adhere to the advice of the healthcare professionals.

Maldives has seen a total of 1313 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak, with 128 individuals having recovered, the country has recorded 04 deaths from the virus. The government has been conducting random sampling for weeks now. However, the testing capacity was not sufficient as the testing has been carried out at the state-run Indra Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and the police forensic laboratory.

Privately-run ADK Hospital added a PCR machine which can test up to 500 samples a day. With this, the testing capacity will significantly increase and at least 1000 samples can be tested per day. In addition to that, testing machines are also being acquired for privately-run Tree Top Hospital, which is currently being used as the main COVID-19 treatment facility.

Despite the greater Male’ area being under lockdown, the government has eased restrictions on islands which are not affected by COVID-19. Resuming public prayers at mosques on those islands, the government is gradually easing the restrictions depending on the advice from the health authorities.

Having closed its borders in March, tourism operations in Maldives has been paused for almost two months. With the economy of the island nation almost entirely depending on the revenue from the tourism sector, staying locked down for a long period of time will cause irrecoverable damage to the country’s economy.

To ensure that the market demand does not diminish during the time, a number of measures are being taken to keep engaged with the potential travellers. Maldives Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) has been introducing several promotional activities in order to give hope that the future will be brighter and that travellers can once again explore the island nation. This includes several webinars held for potential markets. Furthermore, on 08th June 2020, MMPRC will host a live Facebook event that will take the viewers on a journey around the beautiful islands of Maldives.

Restoring faith into resuming travel operations, the Ministry of Tourism recently drafted a ‘Safe Tourism Guideline’ in preparation for restarting tourism. The draft guideline covers all aspects of travel in and around Maldives to assure guests with the security and confidence in travelling as well as to ensure the safety of the staff members. This will be a light of hope to the situation in Maldives right now.

Feature image by adduxfiles twitter
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The Cocoon Collection and its Prison Island Museum in Zanzibar

Prison Island museum
The Cocoon Collection announces its latest groundbreaking project set to take place in Zanzibar.

This latest cultural project on the territory of Zanzibar, the Prison Island Museum is a part of contributing to the local culture and the historical heritage of Zanzibar.

The Cocoon Collection already has two of its well-known resorts set in Zanzibar, Gold Zanzibar and the Island Pongwe. Additionally, the group is also set to open a 5-star luxury hotel in the area, known as Bawe Island. Bawe Island is set to be the first one island one resort in the destination.

The Prison Island Project is going to see the creation of a museum with photographic exhibitions. These exhibitions will focus on the history and heritage of Zanzibar. Additionally, the Prison Island Project is also going to have a natural reserve dedicated to the historical giant turtles living on the island.

This is just one of the many important social development projects and cultural revitalisation of local communities done through the Sofia Luna Foundation.

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