President orders 3-day closure of government offices

Velana Building: A government office complex located in Male' City.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has instructed for government officers to be closed for three days, from August 4 to August 6, in face of a surge in coronavirus cases.

The announcement was made by the President’s Office in a statement on Monday night.

According to the President’s Office, the decision to close government offices for three days was made as a measure to control the spread of the new coronavirus.

“The President has asked that it be informed of his decision not to open government offices from August 4, 2020 to August 6, 2020 in order to control the spread of COVID-19,” said the President’s Office in its statement.

Government workers have been instructed to work from home where possible, and government institutions have been instructed provide services virtually where possible.

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.

The surge in cases has given rise to calls to re-impose the lockdown, but President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said in a tweet earlier this Monday that a second lockdown wasn’t the best approach, and urged the public to wear masks when in public and follow the instructions of health authorities.

“The cooperation of everyone is of paramount importance. An additional lockdown isn’t the best [approach],” he said.

Maldives now 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.

2,085 people – making for 50 percent of total coronavirus cases in the country, are Maldivians. The rest include 1,665 Bangladeshis, 294 Indians, 48 Nepalese, and 37 Sri Lankans, 11 Italians, six Indonesians and five Filipinos.

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