President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that no island in the Maldives will run out of staple foods and that a steady supply of medicine has been arranged in the wake of Covid-19.
President Solih made the statement during his address to the nation regarding the current situation of Covid-19.
In his address, President Solih noted that the global economy is going to be heavily affected in the wake of the virus. He also noted that financial experts have identified the Maldivian economy as one that would be among the hardest hit economies in the world due to Covid-19.
He revealed that in the first 10 days of March alone, tourist arrivals have seen a 22.8 per cent decrease in comparison to the same period last year. He further added that 161,740 bed nights have been cancelled since January 26th.
President Solih further added that estimates now show that tourist arrivals for the year will decrease by 12 per cent to as low as 35 per cent in comparison to the previous year.
"We initially projected a 7 per cent increase in tourism for this year. We also estimated a GDP growth of 7.5 per cent. However due to the repercussions of Covid-19 on the Maldivian economy, new estimates put the GDP growth rate anywhere between 0.5 per cent and -5.6 percent," President Solih revealed.
He reiterated that the government is working towards ensuring that everyday life of citizens are not interrupted despite these setbacks. As such he ensured that no island in the country will face food shortages and added that STO is ready for such a situation.
In addition to this, he added that a steady supply of medicine has also been arranged. Neighboring India has decided to provide Maldives with enough medicine to last for the next three months.
He further noted that India will be sending a team of professional doctors to the Maldives as well.