President warns COVID cases may rise in next three weeks, urges precaution

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih speaks at the inauguration of the N. Landhoo Harbor on January 4, 2022. (Photo/President's Office)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Tuesday that health experts have warned of a possible rise in COVID-19 cases over the next three weeks, and urged people to comply with measures taken to control the pandemic. 

Speaking during the ceremony to inaugurate N. Landhoo Harbor, President Solih said the last two years had been the most critical years in Maldives’ recent history. 

He said that the Maldivian people were at the cusp of hope of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Maldives is the country in this region which was best able to control the pandemic and rebound economically. We achieved this through the collective effort of the government, the people, institutions and organizations,” he said. 

President Solih said that the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, posed a threat to Maldives. 

He said he discussed the new variant with the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Monday, and that they believe there’s a chance of the situation getting worse in the coming days. 

“Health experts advised that there was a change of a significant rise COVID-19 cases in the next three weeks, and this variant has now been discovered in Maldives,” he said. 

President Solih urged people to increase adherence to measures taken to control the pandemic, and wear masks and maintain social distancing in order to avoid a lockdown. 

President’s remarks come after Maldives recorded 242 COVID-19 cases on Monday, including 97 cases in the greater Male’ region, increasing the positivity rate in the capital to seven percent.