MRM calls on govt. to reconsider virus control easements amid surge in cases

Former President of the Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. (Sun Photo;/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Reform Movement (MRM), part of the ruling coalition, has called on the government to reconsider its decision to relax coronavirus control measures, following a surge in new cases.

MRM made the appeal in a statement it released on occasion of Maldives’ 55th Independence Day this Sunday.

MRM noted that the Independence Day this year comes amid drastic changes to the lifestyle of the Maldivian people in face of the coronavirus pandemic, and called on the Maldivian people to treat maintaining social distancing and wearing masks when out in public as a civic duty.

The party also expressed concern over a surge in coronavirus cases following the relaxation of some of the stricter measures implemented to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

“In light of the surge in number of people testing positive for COVID-19, we believe it to be the right time for the government to amend the eases, and take more effective action,” said MRM in the statement.  “We believe it important for the Maldivian government to make the arrangements implemented to improve the situation and facilitate greater easements for the people more effective than it is now.”

The beginning of July has seen the government easing many of the stricter coronavirus restrictions; borders have been reopened for international travel, mosques in the greater Male’ region have been reopened for congregational prayers, cafes and restaurants reopened for dine-in services, government offices and courthouses have officially reopened, and schools have partially reopened.

The relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions has seen a spike in coronavirus cases. An increasing number of coronavirus cases identified in July have no link to existing clusters, which health officials warn is an indication of a wide community spread.

Maldives has recorded more than 3,200 coronavirus cases, including the 77 new cases recorded last Saturday alone.

MRM said it the statement that despite having to face unforeseen hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic, greater cooperation is necessary to overcome the hardships and return to the freedom enjoyed before.

The party called on the Maldivian people to follow the government’s instructions and perform their civic duty.

MRM said that Maldives gained its independence with the sacrifice of many, and that maintaining independence is far greater a challenge than gaining it.

“Irrespective of the greatness of the challenge, the responsibility for it falls on the shoulders of the government in power at the time. And at the same time, the people also need to work to maintain that independence. Because, the State of Maldives and the people are compelled to do so under the Maldivian Constitution.”