Maldives expected to suffer most due to pandemic: World Bank

The World Bank has stated that the Maldives' economy will be the worst hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report issued by the bank on Sunday said the economies of South Asian countries will regress to levels not witnessed over the past 40 years, and that the Maldives will suffer the most economic setbacks. While the country's GDP is expected to fall between 8.5 and 13%, the reason for this sharp decline will be the effects on the tourism sector as a result of COVID-19. Restrictions on international travel will be especially consequential for Maldives and Nepal, both being countries that heavily depend on tourism, said the World Bank, adding that the GDP of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are also likely to suffer a major blow.

20 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives thus far, out of which 5 are locals. All 5 locals recently returned to the archipelago from abroad. While one local has recovered from the illness, all foreigners who tested positive in the Maldives were allowed to depart from the country after testing double negatives for the virus following treatment. Two out of six active cases are of tourists who departed from the country prior to receiving their test results.