President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made startling claims regarding a supposed request for advice from the President of Seychelles, alleging that he was consulted on the measures taken by the Maldives to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a close analysis of WHO data, juxtaposed with Solih's statements, suggests a clear discrepancy.
President Solih claimed that the President of Seychelles reached out to him during a time when the COVID-19 related death toll was significantly lower in the Maldives compared to Seychelles. Solih stated, "During that time President of Seychelles called me. That time not many people were dying here. He asked me why people weren't dying in Maldives.”
However, WHO data paints a different picture. The cumulative COVID-19 related death count stands at 172 in Seychelles, while in Maldives, it is significantly higher at 315. This figure might be even higher if untested and sudden deaths are taken into consideration. Therefore, it is evident that Solih's claims don't align with these figures.
Solih also alleged that at the time of the supposed call, Seychelles was experiencing daily COVID-19 deaths of 2-3 individuals, prompting the island nation's president to seek advice. Yet, the WHO timeline shows that Seychelles' first COVID-19 related death was reported only on 18th January 2021. In contrast, the Maldives saw its first COVID-19 death as early as April 2020, a significant nine months earlier.
Further scrutiny of the data reveals more inconsistencies. For example, the highest mortality rate in Seychelles occurred in July 2021. Yet, the Maldives had already seen a surge in May 2020, when two individuals died. The disparity deepens when considering that the highest single-day toll in Seychelles occurred on 21st February 2021, with 21 deaths, while in the Maldives, a shocking 32 individuals died on 17th May.
Thus, there's a clear contradiction between Solih's statement claiming a period of higher death rates in Seychelles compared to the Maldives and the WHO data. In the first year of the pandemic, Seychelles reported no COVID-19 related deaths, while the Maldives had already witnessed 48 fatalities.
Furthermore, when deaths began to be reported in Seychelles in 2021, the mortality rate was fairly similar in both countries, contradicting Solih's insinuation that the Maldives was in a "better position" for Seychelles to ask for help. In fact, starting from April 2021, the mortality rate in the Maldives began to increase sharply. In May 2021 alone, the Maldives recorded 111 deaths compared to Seychelles' 14.
It appears that Solih's statements are a departure from the truth, as many in the Maldives have reportedly died due to a lack of proper treatment. Despite these grim realities, the government continues to propagate the narrative that the Maldives was number one globally in managing the pandemic.