Restrictions to be lifted gradually based on changing conditions

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen has stated the government plans to lift the restrictions imposed in the Maldives gradually based on the changing conditions of COVID-19 in the country, rather than lifting all restrictions.

Speaking to PSM News, Health Minister Ameen said although there are signs that COVID-19 is being contained in the Maldives, it is too early to declare that the disease has been controlled. He said the plan is to lift the restrictions gradually based on changing conditions, rather than lifting all restrictions together.

The health minister said some changes have been observed to the trends of transmission in the Maldives during the lockdown. As such, the minister noted the average number of direct contacts of positive cases have dropped from around 38-40 in the beginning of lockdown to about 6-10. He added most positive cases are now being detected from direct contacts of individuals who tested positive earlier, rather than new clusters.

Minister Ameen said there is no room for complacency despite the positive signs, adding the restrictions will be lifted gradually with careful consideration of how it could affect the current rate of transmission. He said the final decision on lifting the restrictions will be made upon discussions with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG).

The minister acknowledged the support and cooperation received from the public for the measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, attributing it as the main reason the outbreak has been contained within the capacity of the healthcare system. He also urged the public not to interpret easing of restrictions as going back to normal, and to continue observing personal safety measures in order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.