Lockdown will be re-imposed if necessary: President

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said the lockdown could be re-imposed if the COVID-19 situation worsens when the lockdown is lifted.

In a televised message regarding the ease of the lockdown imposed in the Greater Male' Region and restrictions enforced on islands, President Solih said the lockdown will only be eased with the advice and recommendations from the health professionals. The president said one should not believe the risk of COVID-19 on the Maldives is low even if the lockdown is lifted. In this regard, the president appealed to follow precautionary measures and maintain social distancing at all times.

On April 15, a 24-hour lockdown was imposed in the Greater Male' Region following the detection of COVID-19 in Male' City, which was extended on April 16. A wider lockdown was imposed for further two weeks on April 17 to contain COVID-19 and curb the community spread in the capital city. The lockdown has been extended until May 28.

In the address to the nation, President Solih appreciated the assistance from foreign countries and business enterprises, naming the shareholders of Tree Top Hospital, resort and guesthouse owners for their generous contribution to utilise their tourist establishments as quarantine and isolation facilities. The president also acknowledged and thanked everyone working to overcome the current crisis including health professionals, Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), Maldives Police Service (MPS), Health Protection Agency (HPA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Cadet Corps, The Scout Association of Maldives, Maldives Girl Guides Association, Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC) and other volunteers. He urged everyone to stay indoors unless necessary and to prepare to embrace the new normal phase after the lockdown is lifted.

In conclusion, President Solih described the collective efforts of everyone to overcome the pandemic as a national task, acknowledging the love of all workers to the nation and the passion towards their work.