State of Public Health Emergency extended

The Minister of Health has extended the duration of the State of Public Health Emergency declared in the Maldives.

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

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen issued a declaration on Friday night, announcing the extension of the period of the state of public health emergency until April 30.

A motion issued by the minister said the threat COVID-19 poses on the Maldives is still very real and that the Director General of Public Health has recommended continuing to take special measures to curb the contagion and ensuring the safety of the public. Therefore, the State of Public Health Emergency will be in place until April 30, said the minister.

The Director General of Public Health has instructed the government to continue taking stringent measures as necessary to ensure the public's safety.

Maldives has recorded 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far. Out of these, six cases are currently active, while the remaining patients have recovered from the illness. Two active cases are of foreigners who have already departed from the Maldives, and the remaining four are all locals who returned to the archipelago from the United Kingdom.