No plans to lift mask order: Health Minister

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem has stated that the government does not plan on easing the requirement to wear masks in public.

Speaking to reporters at Aminiya School where the vaccine program for school students is ongoing, Minister Naseem said all high-risk groups are now being vaccinated with the commencement of the student vaccine program. He said that Maldives is among the countries with the most successful COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and that the Maldives was able to reach the stage due to the government's leadership and policies. The minister said although the nationwide vaccine program is receiving a lot of support, and a large number of people are getting vaccinated, the government has no plans to lift its requirement for wearing masks in public.

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are being vaccinated against COVID-19 in the government's student vaccination campaign. The government hopes to fully inoculate 90 percent of those above the age of 12 by the end of the month.

The minister said while research is ongoing to identify if children above the age of 5 can be safely vaccinated against COVID-19, the government would work to vaccinate children in the age group if research findings show they can be vaccinated. The findings of the research are expected by the end of the month, he added.