Male’ City Council on early Wednesday, urged any homeless and forcefully evicted individuals in the capital to inform Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services via its hotline ‘1412’, in an effort to assist those financially impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those displaced as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions.
By Tuesday, the Ministry had placed over 80 stranded people in temporary state-provided shelters and reported over 400 displaced individuals as having applied for government assistance.
The persons were taken to temporary accommodations and were given regular meals provided by the government.
In addition, HPA revealed that of the homeless, 25 people were identified as being addicted to drugs and were hence placed in rehabilitation.
On April 12, The World Bank estimated that Maldives will be the worst-hit country in the economic regression caused in the South Asian region by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The recession resulted in a number of landlords evicting tenants as a result of their sudden inability to make rent. The government has now stated it is in discussion to prohibit such evictions, whoever the administration earlier noted difficulties in implementing rent control as it involved imposing restrictive measures on private entities.
“South Asia finds itself in a perfect storm of adverse effects. Tourism has dried up, supply chains have been disrupted, demand for garments has collapsed and consumer and investor sentiments have deteriorated”, said the World Bank.
In a bid to counteract the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy, Maldivian government introduced an economic relief fund with MVR 2.5 billion intended to prevent the closing down of local businesses and the loss of jobs. The administration has asserted that it will prioritize companies that do not terminate staff members in providing the recovery loans allocated for struggling businesses.
The Greater Male’ region was initially put under lockdown on April 15, following the first case of community transmission on COVID-19 in the Maldives. This was then extended until 1430 hours, April 17. With the latest extension, the lockdown in the area will be lifted on May 1.
The lockdown prohibits all civilians sans those with special permits to leave their residences, as well as a ban on all land and sea transportation within the area, effectively barring transitting travellers within the capital.
As of now, Maldives records 86 confirmed and 70 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.5 million people and claimed over 177,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 690,393 people have recovered.
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