The agent in Maldives for the Sri Lankan Airlines, Inner Maldives, is attempting to permit a flight to carry home the Maldivians stuck in Sri Lanka because of the outbreak of COVID-19 causing travel limitations.
So as to suppress the effects of COVID-19 from escalating, Sri Lanka had taken liberties last week, to prohibit the inbound International flights. While Maldives had further increased its travel restrictions and banned entry from Sri Lanka last Saturday.
Mohamed Firaq, Managing Director of Inner Maldives disclosed on Tuesday that there were large number of Maldivians in Sri Lanka whom wished to come back to their homes in Maldives, and so as to lend these people a hand, the agency was engaging on chartering a flight.
His words were, “We are engaged in discussions with both governments. We will hold the flight as soon as we receive permission.”
Additionally, Umar Abdul Razzaq the Maldivian Ambassador to Sri Lanka reported that as of yet, at a government-level, no decision has been made in regards to preparing transport for Maldivians in Sri Lanka and it’s still being deliberated about.
In the Press conference on March 23 at National Emergency Operations Center the government spokesperson Mabrouq Azeez revealed the government’s policy in preparing transport for Maldivians overseas to return home to Maldives, was only if the state in the country where they were was considered to be of too high of a risk to their health and well being.
Mabrouq voices that the government otherwise urges Maldivians not to travel back, and to stay home.
Sri Lanka currently has a population of about 15,000 Maldivian nationals. The country has reported 15 new cases this Tuesday, worsening the confirmed virus cases to 97.