Male’, Maldives – Vice President of People’s National Congress (PNC), Ibrahim Shujau has said that Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) recent increase of fines for violating covid-19 restrictions is targeting the upcoming activities to be held by opposition parties Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC).
The opposition has planned to hold an event this Saturday night, named “Visnaa” (translates to think).
Speaking on the matter, Shujau said that this new guideline is targeting the planned event, and that there are fines of up to MVR 100,000 in this new guideline. He said that the government has no plans to stop milking residents, and asked for people to attend the said event after thinking about this.
Guidelines released yesterday by HPA stated that during the current state of public health emergency, it is important to follow guidelines set by the Director General of Public Health to control spread of the disease, and that it is everyone’s responsibility to support controlling the spread of transmittable disease
They added that people violating the said guidelines are committing a crime and announced larger fines for multiple violations.
For normal citizens the fines are as follows:
- First offence : MVR 1,000
- Second offence : MVR 3,500
- Third offence : MVR 7,500
- Fourth offence and onwards : MVR 10,000
The fine amounts are greatly increased for legal entities, and are as follows:
- First offence : MVR 5,000
- Second offence : MVR 25,000
- Third offence : MVR 50,000
- Fourth offence : MVR 75,000
- Fifth offence and onwards : MVR 100,000
They further stated that the Director General of Public Health can choose to fine with the highest amount even without multiple violations. This can be done if any of the following violations occur:
- If a person with a dangerous disease or suspected of such a disease ordered to self isolate or complete quarantine violates quarantine rules.
- If a dangerous disease was found in an area or island and is then brought to monitoring status, travelling in and out of such areas without permission.
- Withholding information of a person with or suspected of a dangerous disease.
- Assist in or bringing a person with a dangerous disease to the Maldives.
Enforcing these guidelines and handing out any fines if necessary will be carried out by Maldives Police Service.
The opposition has consistently protested that they cannot even campaign for the upcoming local council elections due to covid restrictions, and have said that government and MDP officials have violated these without ant repercussions. They have also stated that they will be pulling out of the upcoming elections if they are not allowed to campaign.