State of public health emergency extended again!

Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem (Kerafa Naseem) | Photo: Hotelier Maldives

Male’, Maldives – Health Minister Ahmed Naseem (Kerafa Naseem) has ordered for the state of public health emergency declared in Maldives in response to the coronavirus pandemic to be extended for the thirteenth time till May 04, 2021.

In a decree signed by the minister, it stated 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.

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, 2020 and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12, 2020. Since then, the duration of the state of public health emergency has been extended multiple times of which the latest extension order set to expire tomorrow.

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, 2020 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, 2020.

The total number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the country has reached 24,651 out of which 21,512 patients have made full recoveries, as of 18:00 of April 3, 2021. Since the country recorded its first case of Covid-19, Maldives has reported 67 deaths in connection to Covid-19. The deceased are 60 Maldivian nationals, 6 Bangladeshi nationals and a Filipino national.