State of Public Health Emergency extended until Jan 1

Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem has extended the duration of the State of Public Health Emergency declared in the Maldives. This is the 21st extension of the State of Public Health Emergency since it was first declared on March 12, 2020.

The emergency state was first invoked by former Health Minister Abdulla Ameen on March 12 last year for a period of 30 days by the discretionary powers vested in the minister by Section 33 of the 7/2012 Public Health Act. The measure was taken after the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the current COVID-19 outbreak as a global 'pandemic'.

Since then, the state of public health emergency has been extended several times. On Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced that the public health emergency state will be maintained until January 1, 2022, as COVID-19 remains a threat to the Maldives. The Director-General of Public Health will take any special measures that the situation calls for.

Maldives has recorded 91,650 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far and 250 COVID-19 deaths. The country's COVID-19 situation has improved significantly over the past couple of months.