Adam Shareef calls for criminal probe into COVID-19 community spread in Male’

Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

People’s National Congress deputy leader Adam Shareef Umar, on Sunday, called for a criminal investigation to identify the cause of the COVID-19 community spread in the Maldivian capital, Male’ City.

At the virtual parliamentary sitting this morning, the Maduvvari MP said that the community spread in the capital had created fear and uncertainty.

“How the community spread came to be, I believe, is of great concern to all of us. I therefore call on the government to conduct a criminal investigation into the cause of the community spread and reveal it to the people,” said Adam Shareef.

Male’ identified its first virus case on April 15, prompting a lockdown on the Greater Male’ Region and a nationwide ban on non-essential travel between Maldivian islands.

Adam Shareef said that many had been left stranded, homeless and hungry in the capital, in less than the two weeks which has passed since then.

He said that no Maldivian should go hungry even under such unprecedented circumstances, and said that the government should ensure that people continue to have uninterrupted access to essential services, and find the necessary resources and funding in order to do so.

Adam Shareef said the government had chosen the easy way out, referring to the government’s plan to affect a one-year stay on limits set under the Fiscal Responsibility Act in order to access long-term borrowings from the central bank.

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has stated the government needs an immediate MVR 4.2 billion to manage its cash flow in order to maintain public services, fund healthcare services, and provide socioeconomic support to citizens over the next three months.

Adam Shareef said that if the government borrowed from the central bank, it would inflate the dollar rate and the prices of goods; further exacerbating the situation.

“I agree we need to secure finance for the people. But, I for one, do not believe that taking the easy way out is the best policy,” said Adam Shareef.

He suggested that the government should instead seek assistance from India, Pakistan, Unites States, Saudi Arabia or the United Kingdom.

“The government is now on its last breath. I believe that the failure of the government up until this point had been because of the deliberate decisions of some.  I say, the only way, the best way for this nation to overcome this situation is to hold a snap election,” said Adam Shareef.

He accused the government of mismanagement, and called for an election to be held as soon as possible.