President: Maldives remains one of the safest tourist destinations

Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohame Solih speaks to press on July 5, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Tuesday that due to scattered atoll geography, and the ‘one island, one resort’ concept practiced in Maldives, it remains one of the safest destinations for tourists.

He made the remark in a video message at the launch of the ‘Covid Huttuvaanee Aharen’ campaign, an initiative by the local media, on Tuesday night.

In his video message, President Solih said that the international community needs to be presented with an accurate picture of the health risk in Maldives.

“Given how the population of Maldives is spread across islands, given the concept based on which tourism was developed, Maldives certainly remains one of the most peaceful and safest destinations for vacationers,” he said.

President Solih said that there isn’t a community spread of COVID-19 outside of Male’, and that isolated cases identified is other islands are efficiently monitored and controlled by healthcare workers.

He noted that resorts are located outside of residential islands.

“This message remains to be properly delivered to the international community. This information needs to be clear for tourists who wish to visit Maldives,” he said.

President Solih said that it is especially important to highlight Maldives’ safety virtues to tourists in light of plans to reopen guesthouses on October 15.

He asked that the message be delivered through the campaign launched this Tuesday.

President Solih said that collective effort to control the outbreak is necessary to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in Maldives.

“People need to do their civic duty. And especially, people must refrain from going outside their homes unless necessary, and when it becomes necessary, must wear a mask. People must also wash their hands frequently and pay special importance to practicing good hygiene,” he said.

Noting that Maldives has recorded 29 COVID-19 related fatalities so far, President Solih said that their deaths are a great loss not just to their respective families and loved ones, but the entire nation.

He warned that failure to bring down numbers may overwhelm the health system. He said that even if hospitals have the equipment to treat patients, an increase in the number of patients which is disproportionate to the limited doctors and nurses in Maldives runs the risk of loss of numerous lives.

Maldives has 8,003 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 199 new cases recorded this Tuesday. 5,265 patients have since recovered and active cases currently stand at 2,703.

Maldives reopened its borders and welcomed back tourists on July 15.