Discussions begin regarding Indian tourist arrivals as pandemic escalates in India

An Indian couple who visited Maldives during the Covid-19 pandemic seen at a resort | Photo: Preetha Manivelan

Malé, Maldives – As the pandemic has worsened in India, Tourism Minister Dr. Abdhulla Muasoom has stated that discussion regarding tourist arrivals from the country are ongoing with relevant authorities.

In an interview to local news outlet “Mihaaru”, Minister Mausoom stated that looking at the current tourist covid-19 positive rates, no specific country has been identified to have higher cases than others.

However, he added that as the Covid-19 situation in India is worsening, discussions are ongoing to implement additional restrictions.

Countries worldwide have expressed their concerns after a huge surge in Covid-19 cases has resulted in a large number of serious cases in India. Many countries have now reinstated previously lifted covid-19 restrictions for Indian travellers, mandating on-arrival quarantine.

Maldives too, has decided all arriving from India except tourists to quarantine, with many calling for tourists to be quarantined as well.

Minister Mausoom noted that even when a vaccine was unavailable, Maldives allowed tourists in without quarantine, and that as the majority of the tourist sector has been vaccinated, it is now safer than before. He also said that resort and hotel staff are now better trained and experienced in safely providing services.

” I want to decrease hardships faced by tourists and provide services while ensuring the safety of residents and tourist staff ”

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdhulla Muasoom

The Minister went on to call for everyone to work together to control the covid-19 situation, asking for all to follow guidelines currently in place in addition to following recommendations by health experts.

” Everyone should expect that anyone could have this disease. Whether you meet with a tourist or anyone else, exercising necessary precautions will prevent the spread disease”

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdhulla Muasoom

India confirmed a record total of 315,660 cases and 2,091 deaths in a single day on April 21, 2021. Experts believe the recent surge was driven by new more contagious variants, as well as mass gatherings, such as the Kumbh Mela festival, where millions of pilgrims gathered earlier this month.

The vaccine drive in the country also gave residents a false sense of safety, but as experts point out, the number of vaccinated individuals is nowhere near the amount needed for herd immunity. The country is now at a shortage of medical oxygen, with hospitals full and turning away many new patients.