Lockdown inspires Conrad Maldives team to sew masks for donation
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is supporting the Maldives efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak by donating handmade protective masks to frontline healthcare workers.
While the Maldives is in lockdown, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has inspired its team members to sew masks.
The initiative, launched earlier this month, brings together resident tailors and volunteers from the resort team to complete at least 1,500 face masks.
The resort plans to distribute the masks to residents and healthcare workers in neighbouring local islands, as well as those in capital Male.
“During this challenging time, we are looking at unique ways to help communities in our neighbouring islands. We know there is a need for masks right now and hoping that our efforts will be a positive contribution to those who need these extra layer of protection,” Alex Traeger, the resort’s Director of Operations, said.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located in South Ari Atoll and is accessible by a 30-minute seaplane flight from the Maldives main airport.
As one of the Maldives’ leading resorts and one of Hilton Worldwide’s flagship properties, the award-winning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers 150 villas and suites, including all-new room categories, 12 restaurants and bars, and two spas — all stretched over two remote islands.
The resort features the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, world’s first undersea restaurant made from only glass, and THE MURAKA, world’s first undersea villa.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to two unique spa experiences; The Spa Retreat on Rangalifinolhu Island and the Over Water Spa on Rangali Island. Combining expertise from around the world with carefully selected products and therapies influenced by the environment, the two spas offer unique and effective experiences to suit the needs of every individual.
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 1,395.
Four deaths have been reported and 155 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.