Beloved citizens of the Maldives;
Today I am here to address the public, and inform them of the actions this Government intends to take following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Male’ region.
The Government has been preparing for this situation. Due to the rapid worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, we anticipated the risk of the virus eventually spreading to the Maldives. The Government began working with all the institutions of state as early as January to begin implementing precautionary measures to keep the public safe, placing high priority on preventing community spread of the virus within the Male’ region.
I was informed that a Maldivian national residing in Male’ City had tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. The individual in question had presented to the designated flu clinic in Male’ yesterday with flu-like symptoms, and was tested for the virus.
Following the individual’s positive test results, the authorities have done everything strictly in accordance with the protocols currently in place to handle positive cases. From the information available, the individual has no recent travel history outside of the country, and it is not evident that the individual had recently come into contact with anyone else who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Efforts to learn how the person was exposed to the virus are currently underway. We have now identified people that the individual came in contact with. Moreover, we are currently working on finding other persons the individual may have had contact with. Acting on the information that we have received, we have taken samples from 11 individuals as instructed by HPA.
I assure the public that the Government's main aim is to ensure the health and wellbeing of our entire community. In our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 we are resolved to do all that we can.
The moment I received this news I met with the National Security Council, and with the senior officials of relevant authorities. On the advice of healthcare experts, the HPA has announced a 24-hour temporary lockdown of Male’ whilst they conduct contact tracing. Furthermore, an individual who had direct contact with the positive case has been known to have traveled to K. Kaashidhoo. As a precautionary measure, K. Kaashidhoo is now under monitoring for contact tracing.
I request all Maldivians to remain patient and cooperate with the authorities as they implement these measures.
I understand the difficulties the current situation brings to everyday life. If we work together, by the Will of Allah, we can overcome this. We have a good amount of stock for staples and medicines and other necessary goods. Also, authorities have planned ways to ensure basic necessities are met in a situation like this. Details of this will be shared by the relevant authorities. Information on how people must act in situations such as these will be disseminated through the media by the technical teams.
Before concluding, I would like to once again, request all members of the public to treat each other with compassion and kindness. Prioritize patience and help each other in line with our noble Islamic teachings.
Till date, no particular drug or vaccine has been identified for use against COVID-19. The most effective preventative measure at hand is to stay home. Be mindful to wash your hands frequently and observe your hygiene as advised by health professionals.
I sincerely thank all health professionals on the frontline and all other personnel who have been working tirelessly from the very first day to keep us all safe from this disease.
I pray upon Almighty Allah to save the Maldives from this disease and bring normalcy to our lives. May we be blessed with the wisdom and resolve in carrying on with our work to protect us all from COVID-19.