Govt offices, schools to remain closed for additional week

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has announced that government offices, schools and other educational institutes will remain closed for an additional week.

The government had earlier closed all government offices and schools as a precautionary measure against COVID-19.

During a press conference held Wednesday, the president said after COVID-19 was discovered in China, the Maldives has been preparing for COVID-19 since January. As an added precaution, the government has now decided to extend the closure of schools, colleges, universities and government offices for an additional week, said the president.

Although daily life of citizens is being interrupted, the government is acting on the advice of health care professionals in dealing with the outbreak to ensure the safety and protection of the country's citizens, said the president.

"All decisions [on how to deal with the pandemic] are being made by health experts. The government is simply facilitating their recommendations," the president said.

The president also announced the suspension on issuing on-arrival visas in the Maldives. Effective Friday, no foreigners will be allowed to enter the country, said the president.

13 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives thus far. While the government previously revealed five people have recovered from the illness, the president during the press conference revealed that three additional people have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to five.