PNC deputy leader Adam Shareef calls for Parliament to switch to virtual sittings

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

People’s National Congress (PNC)’s deputy leader Adam Shareef Umar has called on the Parliament to switch to virtual sittings amid a surge in coronavirus cases in Maldives.

In a tweet on Monday evening, Adam Shareef, the parliamentary representative for Maduvvari constituency, said the coronavirus outbreak has spiraled out of control.

“As COVID-19 spirals out of control and spreads across Maldives, I appeal for Parliament’s sittings to be held online,” he said.

Adam Shareef’s appeal comes with the Parliament scheduled to resume sittings after the Eid al-Adha holidays on Tuesday.

The sitting is scheduled to begin at 09:00 am, and the only work on the agenda is to vote for the names nominated by the President for the vacancy at the Tax Appeal Tribunal to be forwarded to the relevant parliamentary committee for vetting.

The Parliament had switched to virtual sittings in March, but discontinued the virtual sitting and resumed regular sittings in late May.

Coronavirus cases have surged with the relaxation of the lockdown on Male’ – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives – in July. More than 860 people have tested positive over the last one-week period alone.

Masks are now mandatory in public in the greater Male' region.

Maldives has 4,164 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 215 new cases recorded on Sunday – marking the biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases to be recorded in the country. 2,643 patients have since recovered, while 18 have died from complications.

The country currently has 1,489 active cases. 84 of the coronavirus patients are hospitalized.