A lockdown ordered in the second most populous island-city in Maldives has been lifted after the first coronavirus case in the city turned out to be a false positive.
Shortly after a 35-year-old man tested positive for the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus Saturday morning, mayor Abdulla Sodiq issued city-wide stay-at-home orders in Addu for a fortnight.
However, two subsequent samples produced negative results later in the day, prompting the national Health Protection Agency (HPA) to declare the man’s preliminary diagnosis as a false positive.
HPA said Sunday that the stay-at-home orders in the southernmost atoll of Addu have been lifted.
Meanwhile, 45 new coronavirus cases were reported from the Maldives Sunday.
The confirmed local transmission clusters in the country now include 460 Bangladeshis, 279 Maldivians, 63 Indians, 10 Nepalis, five Sri Lankans and three Pakistanis.
Authorities managed to mitigate the spread of the virus and the Covid-19 respiratory disease it causes amongst the Maldives’ citizens and residents early on by closing the Indian Ocean tourist paradise’s borders, earning praise from the World Health Organisation.
But the disease is now spreading rapidly, especially within the large migrant worker community in capital Male. Authorities have ramped up relocating workers from the cramped up dormitories in one of the world’s most densely populated cities to temporary accommodation units.
An estimated 63,000 foreign nationals work in the Maldives illegally out of a migrant worker population close to 145,000.
Foreign workers in the Maldives, predominantly Bangladeshi and Indian men, are subjected to practices indicative of forced labour, including fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or non-payment of wages, and debt bondage.
As most migrant workers live in extremely poor conditions, a widespread outbreak amongst them could lead to large virus clusters, overwhelming the country’s already under staffed and strained healthcare system and making it harder for authorities to contain the spread of the virus.
On March 8, Maldives reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus, as two hotel employees tested positive for Covid-19 at a luxury resort in the archipelago.
Eighteen more cases — all foreigners working or staying resorts and liveaboard vessels except five Maldivians who had returned from abroad — were later identified.
A six-case cluster of locals, detected in capital Male on April 15, confirmed community transmission of the coronavirus. Several more clusters have since been identified, bringing the total number of confirmed case in the Maldives to 835.
Three deaths have been reported and 28 have made full recoveries. Five remain in intensive care.
The Maldives announced a state of public health emergency on March 12, the first such declaration under a recent public health protection law.
The public health emergency declaration has allowed the government to introduce a series of unprecedented restrictive and social distancing measures, including stay-at-home orders in capital Male and its suburbs, a ban on inter-island transport and public gatherings across the country, and a nationwide closing of government offices, schools, colleges and universities.
Non-essential services and public places in the capital such as gyms, cinemas and parks have also been shut.
Restaurants and cafes in the capital have been asked to stop dine-in service and switch to takeaway and delivery.
A nationwide shutdown of all guesthouses, city hotels and spa facilities located on inhabited islands is also in effect.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the Maldivian economy hard, as travel restrictions and other preventive measures affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry, which contributes the bulk of the island nation’s state revenue and foreign reserves.
Before the pandemic, the government had been bullish about tourism prospects, targeting two million, high-spending holidaymakers this year after last year’s record 1.7 million.
However, tourist arrivals saw a year-over-year decline of 22.8 per cent in the first 10 days of March. Officials say the number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives could drop by half in 2020.
All international airlines have suspended scheduled operations to the Maldives, as the island nation enforced a blanket suspension of on-arrival visa in late March in a bid to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Even before the visa suspension, the Maldives had closed its borders to arrivals from some of the worst-hit countries, including mainland China, Italy, Bangladesh, Iran, Spain, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. Visitors from three regions of Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg), two regions of France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) and two regions of South Korea were also banned from entering the country.
All direct flights to and from China, Italy, South Korea and Iran were also cancelled.
Cruise ships and foreign yachts were also banned from docking at any of the country’s ports.
With arrival numbers falling and the visa suspension in effect, several resorts across the Maldives had been closed.
Tourism has been the bedrock of the Maldives’ economic success. The $5 billion-dollar economy grew by 6.7 per cent in 2018 with tourism generating 60 per cent of foreign income.
However, the government is at present projecting a possible 13 per cent economic contraction this year — an estimated $778 million hit.
Noonu Atoll Education Centre students embark on hospitality journey at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi
As part of its commitment to providing quality education, Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives welcomed another group of enthusiastic students from Noonu Atoll Education Centre in N. Velidhoo for an opportunity of a lifetime as they embarked on a career exploration trip on the 04th of November, 2023. The excursion aimed to offer students valuable insights into the hospitality industry, specifically focusing on various hotel sections, including front office, food and beverage, housekeeping operations, and providing a comprehensive tour of the resort facilities.
This educational experience was designed to ignite the students’ passion for the hospitality sector, providing them with a firsthand understanding of the various aspects of the industry. The students were given a glimpse into the daily operations of Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, offering them a unique behind-the-scenes look at the resort’s high-quality service and exceptional amenities.
The visit also emphasized the importance of marine life and environmental protection as part of the Sun Siyam Care programme. The students engaged in activities and workshops designed to raise awareness about the fragile ecosystem of the Maldives and the resort’s commitment to preserving it.
The highlight of the visit was the announcement that five of the participating students have been selected for an industrial training program with Sun Siyam Iru Fushi. These students will be gaining hands-on experience in the front office, food and beverage service, and housekeeping departments, over the course of six days. This hands-on training will empower them to hone their skills and set a strong foundation for their future careers in the hospitality industry.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Mohamed Nizar, the School Principal for Noonu Atoll Education Centre in N. Velidhoo, said, “We are extremely grateful to the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi management team for providing our students with this remarkable opportunity. The exposure to the world of hospitality, the insight into environmental conservation, and the chance to engage in real-world training will undoubtedly have a profound impact on their career choices. We hope this experience will inspire our students to pursue fulfilling careers in the hospitality industry of the Maldives.”
Mr. Abdulla Atham, the Resort Manager at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative and to contribute to the educational development of these bright students. At Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, we believe in nurturing young talent and instilling a sense of responsibility towards our environment. We are excited to have five promising students join us for their industrial training, and we look forward to helping them grow and succeed in the world of hospitality.”
This educational visit to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi has opened doors to exciting opportunities for many students living in the nearby island of the resort, providing them with a unique and insightful introduction to the hospitality industry while fostering a sense of environmental responsibility.
For more information about Sun Siyam Resorts and its sustainability initiatives, please visit the website at www.sunsiyam.com/sun-siyam-cares
Delco Mart opens at Crossroads Maldives
Crossroads Maldives, the leading integrated leisure destination in the Maldives, has announced the opening of Delco Mini Mart, a mini supermarket that will transform the visitor experience by offering a one-stop shop for their shopping needs.
Crossroads Maldives has always been dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience, and Delco Mini Mart is the latest addition to their commitment to convenience and customer satisfaction. Delco Mart will be open daily from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, providing visitors with a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience.
Crossroads Maldives is already known for its diverse range of leisure and dining options, including an eloquent beach club at SAii Lagoon Maldives, the iconic Hard Rock Cafe, the signature Lén Be Well Spa, and the star studded line up of restaurants ranging from the Ministry of Crab, Carne Diem Grill, Nihonbashi Blue, Kebab & Curry, Jiao Wu, Kinkao, Kalhu Odi to One Waan. Well-known international brands such as Rip Curl are popular crowd choices and the destination is also complete with, jewelry stores, a photography studio, indoor and outdoor event spaces, a fully-fledged yacht marina and ATM facilities. In addition, visitors can enjoy the services of Best Dives Maldives for diving and watersports excursions and the Maldives Discovery Center for interactive cultural immersion.
Delco Mart’s introduction at Crossroads Maldives underscores the commitment to providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for all guests. Whether you need groceries, snacks, beverages, or any other convenience items, Delco Mini Mart is here to cater to your needs, making sure you have everything you require.
“We are thrilled to introduce Delco Mini Mart to Crossroads Maldives, adding a touch of convenience and variety to our visitors. Our aim is to ensure that every guest’s stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, and Delco Mini Mart is another step toward achieving that goal,” said Yashfa Hassaan — Director of Retail – The Marina at Crossroads Maldives.
Crossroads Maldives continues to bring luxury and leisure experiences closer to the local guests as well as the guests staying at SAii Lagoon Maldives, and Hard Rock Hotel Maldives. Delco Mart is the latest milestone in the ongoing journey to exceed the expectations of their guests. The doors of Delco Mart are now open, so come and experience the convenience and ease it brings to your stay at Crossroads Maldives.
One of the key advantages of Crossroads Maldives is its daily scheduled ferry services from Male and Hulhumale, which operate several times a day. This makes it easy for visitors to access this remarkable destination, with ferry bookings available online or through the concierge service.
For more information on Crossroads Maldives, please visit the website at crossroadsmaldives.com.
Sun Siyam Vilu Reef contributes to sustainability with tree planting in F. Magoodhoo
Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, in line with its commitment to sustainable and eco-conscious practices, organised a tree planting project in F. Magoodhoo on the 25th of October, 2023, planting a total of 155 trees. The initiative primarily focused on areas designated for the construction of an airport, with the core objective of enhancing the ecological balance and promoting environmental consciousness within the community.
Under the leadership of Resort Manager Thoha Yoosuf and Vilu Reef’s Family Club Chairman, Mohammed Hameed (Printey), along with 30 dedicated employees, the Sun Siyam team embarked on a significant journey to the pristine island of Maghodhoo, marking the continuous celebration of the Sun Siyam Vilu Reef Silver Jubilee.
Collaborating with the council and local communities, the various teams came together to plant a total of one hundred fifty-five (155) trees, a symbolic gesture of the unwavering commitment to both the environment and the well-being of the communities that the Sun Siyam Resorts teams wholeheartedly support. The project benefited greatly from the F. Magoodhoo Council’s valuable collaboration and aid in logistical coordination and permissions, which played a crucial role in the event’s success.
This tree planting project stands as a testament to Sun Siyam Vilu Reef’s dedication to a greener and more environmentally conscious future, fostering a stronger and more sustainable community. The resort has a track record of conducting activities that benefit the public, the environment, and society as a whole.
Nestled within the picturesque South Nilandhe Atoll, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef has been a beacon of enchantment for travellers worldwide for over two decades. As the inaugural instalment of the Sun Siyam Resorts narrative, this breath-taking destination has set the stage for unforgettable journeys, and now, it proudly celebrates its Silver Jubilee, marking 25 years of luxury, sustainability, and Maldivian allure.
This activity is part of the Sun Siyam Resorts group-wide sustainability programme, Sun Siyam Cares, dedicated to operating sustainably and responsibly in the Maldives and Sri Lanka while offering authentic guest experiences.
The Sun Siyam Cares programme prioritises sustainability through initiatives such as reducing energy and water use, managing waste to reduce plastic use, supporting community development, and investing in renewable energy. The programme also focuses on conservation efforts and works to preserve local heritage and cultural practices. By following these sustainability practices, the group aims to minimise the environmental impact, carbon footprint, and contribute to the socio-economic well-being of the communities in which they operate.
With just a 35-minute seaplane flight from Velana (Male) International Airport, this resort offers the ultimate tropical hideaway. Its 103 charming villas are a canvas of tranquillity adorned with vibrant tropical accents. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, celebrating a special occasion, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef provides the backdrop for life’s most cherished moments. Indulge in a variety of world-class amenities that elevate your stay. The all-inclusive meal plan offers an array of dining options across three remarkable restaurants, accompanied by an exceptional selection of beverages. It’s the perfect recipe for a culinary adventure, where each meal becomes a cherished memory. For those seeking relaxation, the resort’s spa and wellness treatments offer a journey into rejuvenation, drawing from time-honoured techniques. Meanwhile, the Turtle Kids Club ensures that young explorers, aged 12 and below, are kept entertained, making family getaways truly enjoyable.
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