Return flight being arranged for Maldivians in Sri Lanka

Maldives Holidays is preparing to arrange a flight to evacuate Maldivians currently in Sri Lanka.

General Sales Agent of Sri Lankan Airlines, Ace Aviation said many Maldivians in Sri Lanka are requesting to arrange transportation for them to return to Maldives amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, they are working in liaison with the Maldives government to arrange a special flight, said Managing Director of Ace Aviation Mohamed Firaq.

"Many Maldivians are requesting to return to Maldives. We are now in discussion with the governments of Maldives and Sri Lanka [to finalize the arrangements]. The tentative date of the flight is March 27. We have not yet decided on the airfare," said Firaq.

COVID-19 has been detected from 95 people in Sri Lanka, the country has suspended all flights and has announced a curfew as a measure to curb the spread of the virus. Over 15,000 Maldivians currently reside in neighbouring Sri Lanka. The Maldives government has also suspended entry to those arriving from Sri Lanka as well as other countries severely affected by the virus.

13 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Maldives thus far. Five patients have recovered from the illness, and the number of active cases is currently eight.