President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih states that he continues to receive praise from the foreign leaders he meets regarding how Maldives managed the Covid-19 pandemic, which he said other nations adopted.
In his address at the opening of F. Bilehdhoo powerhouse’s new building Sunday, President Solih said the Maldivian people did not have to carry the burden of Covid because the government took on the burden for them.
“The government faced immense pressure. That’s true. But in such a situation, it was imperative that the government fulfil its responsibility, take on the burden, and relive the pressure on the people. It is because of that, that we have come so far,” said President Solih, after highlighting on the aid the government provided to Bilehdhoo.
According to the president, the government provided MVR 9.5 million in grants to 53 fishermen and 16 other workers from Bilehdhoo during the pandemic.
“Back then, a Sri Lankan government minister told me that halting mega infrastructure projects had been their biggest mistake, that it brought the entire island to a standstill. He said that it resulted in loss of jobs and bankrupted businesses. He’s a nephew of the Sri Lankan president. He said it was the biggest mistake his uncle made,” he said.
“The Seychelles president called me around the same time. In Sha Allah, our death rate wasn’t that high at the time. He asked what we were doing in Maldives. Why more people weren’t dying.”
He said that Seychelles, with a population of some 98,000 people, had faced three to four deaths daily.
President Solih said that he later met the Seychelles president after the pandemic, and he told him that they had followed Maldives’ example in managing Covid.
“He said that they monitored each and every step Maldives took and adopted it. He said they too found the steps we took to be the best way,” he said.
President Solih attributed Maldives’ quick management of the Covid-19 pandemic to sound policies executed under advisement of experts in the field.
He said the government will continue to seek the opinion of experts in formulating policies.