President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today held a major press conference. Prior to responding to journalists’ questions, the President delivered remarks outlining the Government’s major planned activities to help the country recover and rebuild under a ‘new normal’. The National Taskforce on Resilience Building and Economic Recovery will lead these efforts under the President’s overall supervision, while working alongside stakeholders across the state, government and the private sector.
On July 15th the country will reopen its borders for international travel, and the Government will allow resorts to welcome visitors. This will provide much needed relief to our Tourism Industry and accelerate the country’s economic recovery. July will also witness the further easing of temporary restrictive measures. Prayers in congregation are expected to resume, students will return to classrooms, and restaurants and cafes will open for dine-in service. Guesthouses are expected to resume business in August.
The President acknowledged that COVID-19 has taken a toll on the entire globe, with even the most developed countries struggling to fully contain the pandemic. Despite this, the Maldives has made remarkable strides in the fight against the coronavirus. Case numbers are much lower than health authorities initially expected and there has been a drastic decrease in the number of active cases. Much of this can be credited to the Government’s early interventions to halt viral spread, and the proactive efforts of our health authorities to test, trace and isolate positive cases.
The Government’s success was aided by the efforts of many individuals, businesses and institutions. The President thanked in particular the management of TreeTop hospital and ADK hospital, for volunteering their health services and facilities. Similarly he thanked the operators of private resorts for volunteering their premises for conversion into ICU and isolation facilities. Collectively these efforts ensured that the Maldives rapidly enhanced its healthcare capacity and testing ability.
The President noted that relative to our population the Maldives maintains a high rate of testing. Further testing facilities will soon be available in both Addu and Kulhudufushi, in addition to the facilities already operational in the capital and across 5 different national regions.
The President expressed his gratitude to the many front-line workers, including the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defense Force; the Red Crescent and other NGOs; Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Cadets; and the many medical staff, whose ongoing efforts have been invaluable at halting viral spread, while alleviating citizens’ burdens. He further thanked everyone, especially the families of front-line workers, who waited patiently at home for 42 days, during the lockdown. Following the conclusion of his remarks, the President answered questions from journalists present.