Health Minister: No plans of enforcing a lockdown

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem responds to questions at the Parliament on June 29, 2022. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem told the Parliament on Wednesday that the government had no plans of enforcing a lockdown, as COVID-19 cases rise across Maldives.

Naseem was summoned to the Parliament on Wednesday morning to answer questions by parliamentarians.

He was asked by Kaashidhoo MP Abdulla Jabir whether the government planned on reinforcing a lockdown in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

Naseem responded that the government had no such plans.

“We do not intend to enforce a lockdown due to the corona situation. Neither is it something we want,” he said.

Naseem said that it was important that the Maldivian economy continued to operate unhindered, and that the Maldivian people must learn to live with COVID-19.

Naseem also advised people to take precautions when in closed spaces, and wear masks in crowds. He said it was important both parliamentarians and members of the general public remain cautious.

“Its important that parliamentarians set an example for the people. You can receive all relevant information from the Health Ministry,” he said.

Naseem offered to send a team of officials from the Health Ministry to brief the Parliament regarding measures taken to counter the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 cases have begun increasing sharply in Maldives after months of decline. 1,202 new cases were recorded last week.

According to the information released by Health Protection Agency (HPA), 528 new cases were recorded in the greater Mal’ region between June 19-25. 452 new cases were recorded in residential islands outside Male’, and 222 new cases were recorded from resorts, liveaboard vessels, and industrial islands.

51 patients were hospitalized and five died from complications last week. Meanwhile, 13 people who died due to non-Covid related causes tested positive for the virus postmortem.