I am not sure how we could open our borders anytime soon. The health and safety of the people of the Maldives should be the number one priority and what the government is doing now on these aspects so far is absolutely right. This is a global pandemic and in order to protect our people, we have to sacrifice our economy. There are very few countries like us where an entire economy is dependent on mainly one industry. So, we can’t do this alone anymore. I believe that we should be prepared to be in this crisis for a considerable amount of time, unless a vaccine is found or a reliable medication is found, people won’t be at ease to travel like pre pandemic.
So, instead of half-hearted or piecemeal decisions, we have to get ready to take the big hit for about 18 months. I believe because of this we as an individual nation can’t manage the economy alone like many other countries similar to us. An international collective effort should be made to help countries like us. The international financial agencies must come to inject monies to our economies. It’s only a collective international effort that can take most countries out of
this crisis. A few private jets will not save our economy, but may help some resorts and a small amount of money to the government, but with a lot of risk again. Opening the borders again must be a well-calculated decision.
Europe, the Middle East, USA and Far East are still very bad. The earliest signs of any reasonable recovery for these countries will take many more months if not a year. China is still struggling four months into this. So, we have to be prepared to be in this situation for the long haul. The reason I mentioned 18 months is that scientists are saying a reliable vaccine will take another six to 18 months to be approved and available for mass production. So, any hope of having a normal situation is still very far away. We have to now find ways how we could all manoeuvre and manage these turbulent months that are ahead of us. Crisis management experts from various fields should be brought in.
Opening our borders will also depend on many factors and that also should now be a collective decision made regionally and in consultation with the wider international community. Advise from WHO is very important before taking such a decision now.