Male’, Maldives – Health Minister Ahmed Naseem, commonly known as Kerafa Naseem has ordered for the state of public health emergency declared in Maldives in response to the coronavirus pandemic to be extended till 3rd February.
Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12. Since then, the duration of the state of public health emergency has been extended multiple times of which the latest extension order comes with the previous order, issued on December 5, set to expire this Monday.
Naseem said in the declaration announcing the latest extension to the state of public health emergency this Saturday that the Director General of Public Health has advised him that the threat of a severe nationwide outbreak remained prevalent, and that Maldives needed to implement special measures to mitigate the threat and ascertain the health and safety of the people.
I, with the powers vested in me under the aforementioned [Public Health] Act, hereby announce the decision to extend the state of public health emergency which has been declared nationwide from March 12, 2020 to February 3, 2021Health Minister Naseem in his declaration
The Public Health Act grants the Health Minister the authority to declare a state of public health emergency either nationwide, or in select areas, if the Director General of Public Health, based on evidence, establishes there to a public health emergency in Maldives, and finds that it warrants special measures to solve or contain it, and counsels the Health Minister as such.
The declaration of a state of public health emergency on March 12 had marked the first time for the provision on the Public Health Act to be invoked, since the Act’s enactment in 2012. While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15.
The populous capital quickly emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, contributing to the majority of total cases. Maldives has 13,867 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 33 new cases recorded on Sunday. 13,191 of the patients have recovered, while 48 have died from complications. The country currently has 621 active cases.