Shiyam: COVID-19 outbreak in Lh. Atoll resulted from govt. negligence

Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

PPM deputy leader, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam said on Monday that the COVID-19 outbreak in Lh. Atoll resulted from government negligence, and that the government must ease the predicament of the people by compensating them for their loss in income.

Following an outbreak of COVID-19 in Lh. Felivaru – the home to the MIFCO fish cannery – six islands in the atoll are currently under monitoring, with travel in and out of the islands banned.

Shiyam presented an emergency motion to the Parliament on Monday, aimed at directing the government’s attention towards the dangerous situation facing residents of Lh. Atoll due to the spread of COVID-19, and calling on the government to take quick action to remedy the situation.

Presenting the motion, Shiyam said that people are complaining to him that the COVID-19 outbreak in Lh. Atoll resulted due to government negligence. He accused the management of the fish cannery in Felivaru of covering up that scores of workers were getting sick with COVID-19 symptoms.

“This disease spread to other islands in the atoll because the management of Felivaru, despite being aware that many of the workers were having fevers and getting sick, withheld this information from the workers and kept it a secret,” he said.

Shiyam said that multiple teams from Male’ travelled to Felivaru with special permits, and later travelled to other islands in the atoll.

He expressed concern over lack of COVID-19 testing facilities at the Lh. Atoll Hospital, despite cases in Felivaru surpassing 300.

“Waiting for days for results on samples, and having scores of homes in heavily populated islands such as Naifaru placed under monitoring, has halted the income of many,” he said.

Shiyam said the government must ease the predicament of the people.

“Compensate the people for the huge loss they have suffered due to government negligence, allow moratoriums on loan payments, and subsidize electricity bills,” he said.

He asked that the government take immediate and effective steps to help the people overcome their current predicament.