Beloved citizens of the Maldives;
Today, I am here to address the beloved people of the Maldives, with the intention of informing you of the current measures being undertaken by the Government to combat COVID-19.
Since the detection of COVID-19 in the Maldives, 541 patients have tested positive, of which 185 are Maldivians and 356 are foreign nationals. And from the 523 patients currently undergoing treatment for the virus, except for a few, almost everyone continues to do well.
Since we commenced our efforts against COVID-19, the most distressing news that we heard was about the passing away of the 83-year-old female as a result of the disease.
I pray to Allah Subhanahu Wa-ta'ala to forgive her sins and to grant her the blessings of Jannah and to also give patience to the family.
As such, I pray that Almighty Allah, through his infinite kindness and generosity, grants a quick recovery for those diagnosed with COVID-19 and are currently undergoing treatment in the Maldives.
To protect every citizen of the Maldives from COVID-19, the Government continues to undertake several measures based on the advice and instructions of healthcare experts.
The highest priority of the Government in these efforts, regardless of the sacrifices we must make, is to save lives.
We have a limited number of health workers in the country. However, they are professionals, backed by knowledge and experience, who work in the national spirit.
The rate of the virus’ spread has been slower than was projected earlier. This, with Allah’s blessings, we believe is due to the measures taken by the Government on the advice of healthcare experts and the high level of compliance shown by the people.
I would like to thank the public for their patience and cooperation in this difficult situation.
There are a lot of people tirelessly working away from their families to eradicate this disease from the Maldives.
I would like to thank health workers, Maldives National Defence Force, Maldives Police Service, Health Protection Agency, National Disaster Management Authority and Red Crescent, including all the other agencies working with them for their service.
As you will be aware, the greatest spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives is taking place among expatriate migrant workers who live in highly congested accommodation.
These overcrowded places are the biggest obstacle to control the spread of the virus. We are currently working on a solution to this problem.
We are working on transferring 3000 expatriate workers to facilities in Gulheefalhu, Hulhumale’ and Vilivaru.
We are also working on repatriating undocumented migrant workers.
After discussions with the Bangladesh government, 1500 Bangladeshi migrant workers will be transferred back home within the next week.
There are thousands of migrant workers in the Maldives without accommodation, a job, or legal documents. They were brought here. There are people responsible for this. This is not something that happened overnight.
The situation we are in currently is not one that is sustainable in the long term. This is something everyone understands. People cannot go out to work, or find means to gain an income.
Resorts, with millions invested, stand empty. Hotels and restaurants are closed. Local businesses have plummeted.
The experiences of other countries inform us that it takes more than two months to contain the spread of this virus.
In order to overcome these challenging times, we must all work together to contain the spread of this virus at the earliest.
The people of the countries who patiently endured hardship are now gradually returning to normalcy.
We are working relentlessly to overcome these difficult times, revive our economy, and restore normalcy.
Healthcare experts who project the trajectory of COVID-19 in the Maldives estimate a surge in cases within Male’ in the next two weeks.
Therefore, the next two weeks require us all to be vigilant and careful in our work against the virus. The hope of overcoming this virus depends on the amount of work we put in the next few days.
Despite the growing number of positive cases, our precautionary measures have proven successful in controlling the outbreak. Healthcare workers remain hopeful.
There is still an urgent need for more healthcare workers on the frontlines. There are currently many retired healthcare workers in the Maldives, and many who are temporarily inactive. My message to all of you is that your country needs your service, along with the service of healthcare professionals from the private sector.
As cases spread in Male’, there is also a need to ensure that the virus does not spread in other islands. This is why we have temporarily restricted travel between the Greater Male’ Area to other islands, and banned travel between the islands themselves.
Despite the myriad difficulties these restrictive measures entail, everyone understands that they are necessary to contain the virus.
For this reason, I ask all of you to exercise the same patience and support you have thus far demonstrated, with even greater resolve.
Even if you leave the house for essentials, practice social distancing. If you experience any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, promptly report it to the relevant authorities.
Most importantly, stay home. At this moment, healthcare professionals are working tirelessly to ensure your safety.
The Government is working on ensuring there are no restrictions around the availability of essential items needed to cater for basic needs.
Although the Maldives is in lockdown, there are multiple obligations we must fulfill as a state, services that have to be provided.
The Government is working on providing those services. With the assistance of foreign countries, we are working on bringing food supplies as well as medicine, facilities and equipment required for medical care.
Many of our friendly bilateral partners and foreign philanthropists have extended their generous support in these areas for the welfare of the Maldivian people, and they continue to do so.
On behalf of the Maldivian people, I wish to thank them all. I also wish to thank some of our local philanthropists who have extended their valuable support and assistance.
Our efforts against COVID-19 are being carried out in solidarity, with a unified resolve, towards the same end goal. With Almighty Allah’s compassion and comfort, we shall triumph.
We must spend these holy days and nights in prayer for the grace of Almighty Allah to bestow success upon us in our efforts to counter this virus.
I earnestly pray upon Almighty Allah for the swift eradication of this disease from the Maldives, and the return to our normal way of life.
As I conclude my statement, I pray that we shall be shown the path to make good use of the days and nights of the holy month of Ramadan, and bless the hearts of the beloved Maldivian people with patience and courage.