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COVID-19: MATATO, NBAM, Coca Cola to aid people in shelters

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and National Boating Association of Maldives (NBAM), in collaboration with Coca Cola Maldives, will provide assistance during the month of Ramadan for individuals that are stranded or have become homeless.

The aid comes at a time when many find themselves facing dire circumstances, either as a result of lockdown measures in place across capital city Male’ or because of the increasingly severe economic repercussions brought on by global COVID-19 pandemic and its community-wide outbreak in the Maldives.

According to MATATO, the three organizations will collaborate to provide food sufficient for 500 individuals, irrespective of their nationality.

According to the organization, shelters in Male’ will be provided with food via Salsa Catering, while efforts to identify a catering service in Hulhumale’ are presently ongoing.

MATATO expressed hope that their initiative would prompt other organizations to join efforts and provide assistance to those in need.

A number of resorts, liveaboards, operated by certain MATATO affiliates have recently come under fire on local social media channels, for imposing salary reductions and forced unpaid leaves on employees in response to decreased tourist arrivals and the grim fallout projected for the country’s heavily tourism-reliant economy.

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.

By Tuesday, the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services had placed over 80 stranded people in temporary state-provided shelters in Male’ and Hulhumale’. Over 400 displaced individuals have applied for government assistance.

On Wednesday, Male’ City Council urged any homeless and forcefully evicted individuals in the capital to inform the Gender Ministry via its hotline ‘1412’.

Maldives’ first confirmed case of COVID-19 within the capital city of Male’, was recorded on April 15, involving a local woman who presented to the flu clinic in Malé after developing coronavirus-like symptoms.

HPA placed the greater Male’ region under lockdown for 24 hours after the case was confirmed. Authorities extended the measures for a 14-day period on April 16 after new cases surfaced.

The latest reports place the number of cases in Male’ City, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, at 64. Out of these, 30 are expatriates.

Overall, Maldives records 94 confirmed, 2 probable and 76 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 2.6 million people and claimed over 180,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 720,000 people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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