Mabrouq Aziz, newly-appointed Spokesperson for the President, has advised people not to spread misinformation during a pandemic for personal gain in a tweet he posted on 2nd February.
Although the context of Mabrouq's tweet is unclear, many people who responded to his tweet had retorted that one person who had spread the most misinformation during a pandemic had been none other than Mabrouq himself.
After the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Maldives, Mabrouq served as the spokesperson for the National Emergency Operations Centre for many weeks. While many elements within the government were engaged in acts of corruption, Mabrouq had underplayed, and sometimes defended, their actions and had also played a pivotal role in helping the government cover up these acts of corruption.
Particularly, Mabrouq had consistently provided misinformation to the media with regards to the case of ventilators that had been purchased by the government from what had turned out to be a paper company in Dubai. The Anti-Corruption Commission and the Audit Office's investigation of the case confirmed that Mabrouq had indeed spread misinformation.
Mabrouq had also spread misinformation regarding a COVID-19 patient who had left the country before he had spent the alloted time in quarantine, and also with regards to the government's actions concerning a safari yacht that been placed under monitoring, and also regarding the first Maldivian who had died of COVID-19.