President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has addressed the nation today following the announcement this morning by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) regarding the first positive local case of community spread COVID-19 in Male' city.

After shedding light on the details of the case at hand, President Solih announced that, under the advice of the National Security Council and other attendants of the meeting held that morning, Male' city will be locked down for the next 24 hours. He also announced that Kaafu Atoll Kaashidhoo had been brought under monitoring upon discovery that a person who had direct contact with the new COVID-19 patient had travelled to the island. He urged all members of the public to remain calm, be patient and cooperate fully with health service professionals while they do their jobs to conduct contact tracing and eliminate possibilities of further community spread, and again expressed his utmost gratitude to all the brave workers at the frontlines of this effort.

The President also restated that the public will not face food shortages during this difficult time, as an adequate stock of food and medicine have been arranged prior to this, and that the relevant authorities would provide further information presently.

President Solih reassured the public that the Government of Maldives had been abundantly prepared for a case such as this and that all of the most efficient measures to minimise the spread of the disease, in the event of even a single positive case, had been previously prepared and is now in place. He gave his confidence that the Government is implementing all necessary safeguards to minimise community spread and protect the public.

Speaking to the public, President Solih stressed once again that COVID-19 is a chronic and potentially fatal illness without any known cure, and that the most important precaution that we can take to protect ourselves and our families is to stay at home to minimise chances of exposure. He said that this situation would undoubtedly lead to changes and difficulties in daily life, but to work together to put precedence on the safety and security of the entire community. President Solih encouraged the public to help one another during these trying times and to treat each other with the respect and kindness taught to us through the Holy tenets of Islam.