MP of Dhangethi constituency, Mohamed Nazim has stated that a sustainable policy is required for combating COVID-19 in the Maldives.
Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, most economic activities of the archipelago are at a standstill and the nation’s economy is facing a downturn. The government has closed the country's borders, and only essential domestic flights are operated. A lockdown has been imposed on capital Male’ since April 15 and has been extended for the third time until May 28. Several people have lost their jobs, and numerous families are facing challenges while many families have been displaced.
MP Nazim, who served as the defense minister in the previous administration said people have lost their livelihood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is time to contemplate that there might be another “community epidemic” that might lead to more deaths than COVID-19 fatalities.
The MP questioned whether the country will be on a lockdown until a vaccine is developed against the virus or if more constructive precautionary measures will be taken in order to resume the economic activities.
“The question is, will we be under the lockdown [for months or years] until a vaccine is developed, or are we going take more stringent safety measures, give more presence for the vulnerable group, and resume the nation’s economic activates including opening the borders?", questioned MP Nazim.
The total number of infected cases in the Maldives have reached to 1186, including 91 recoveries and four fatalities. The government suspended international flights on March 27 due to the declaration of a public health emergency in the Maldives amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen has indicated that after May 28 the lockdown period might not be extended. The nation is preparing for opening the border and re-opening tourism sector. However, it is likely that more time will be needed to resume economic activities.