The Maldives detects more Covid cases

MALE, Maldives, 12 January 2021: The Maldives is detecting more cases of Covid-19 mainly at five-star resorts concerned tourism officials told local media at the weekend.

State media noted that detections of Covid-19 cases in tourist resorts and facilities increased in late December as the tourist season reached its peak.

It was caused mainly by tourists from high-risk countries, prompting a health warning that reminded tourism operators to adhere to official health guidelines and isolate tourists and staff who showed symptoms.

In related news, Xinhua news agency said the Maldives had detected 108 cases of Covid-19 among arrivals since 15 July 2020, despite requiring all visitors to present a negative PCR test valid up to 96 hours before departure.

The country’s Ministry of Tourism reported at the weekend 20,612 tourists arrived in the Maldives during the first week of 2021, the country’s online news service, The Edition reported.

Ministry statistics showed a daily average of over 2,000 arrivals over the first week of January, peaking at 4,195 on a single day.

Russian visitors topped the arrivals list with 5,331 tourists, representing 25.9% of all arrivals. India in second place supplied 1,816 tourist arrivals.

The Edition said 565 tourist facilities across the island cater to tourists, including 141 resorts, 11 hotels, 131 liveaboards and 282 guesthouses.

The Maldivian government reopened its borders on 15 July with just four airlines that have since grown to 26 international airlines. Tourist arrivals are recording a daily average of 3,000 to 5,000 a performance that is touted by the Minister of Tourism, Dr Abdulla Mausoom, as a success story that has ensured tourism survives and minimises the impact on the economy. He is now confidently forecasting that 2021 will be a successful year for the Maldives with tourist arrivals possibly reaching 1.5 million.