21,653 business permits issued in 12 hours

Workers transport shipments of canned food on a trolley in Male' City on June 1, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, on Thursday, announced Maldives Police Service electronically generated and issued 21,653 business permits within 12 hours after the agency open application for business permits via its online portal.

Maldives Police Service has amended its policy on issuance of permits for the Greater Male’ Region following the decision to ease the city-wide lockdown. The agency opened application for business permits via its online portal on Wednesday evening.

Commissioner of Police Hameed tweeted on Thursday morning that Maldives Police Service has electronically generated and delivered 21,653 business permits to employees of 1,927 business entities over the past 12 hours.

He said that it will allow 11,826 more people on the streets of the Greater Male’ Region to carry out economic activities.

Business permits are now issued following a vetting process established by the Economic Development Ministry.

The lockdown is being eased in phases, and applications to resume economic activities in the Greater Male’ Region must be submitted to the Male’ City Council’s online portal during phase one. And the applications will be vetted by the council and Economic Development Ministry before permits are issued through Maldives Police Service.

The ease of the lockdown has also brought changes to the issuance of shopping permits. Households are now being issued three shopping permits instead of one.

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic four days later on March 11.

While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown and a nationwide ban on nonessential travel.

The populous Male’ City has since become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, contributing to over 90 percent of the total cases.

Maldives has recorded 1,850 coronavirus cases, 32 percent of whom are Maldivians, while the remaining 68 percent are foreign nationals. 1,005 people – making for 54 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 608 Maldivians, 187 Indians, 23 Nepalese, and 11 Italians.

While 1,841 people are confirmed to have contracted the new coronavirus in Maldives, this includes 644 people who have since made full recoveries. Seven have died from complications.