Maldives ex-president tests positive for coronavirus

·1 min read

Former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said Tuesday he has tested positive for coronavirus as the island nation battles an increase in new cases.

Gayoom, who held power for three decades, was checked after he developed a fever, a former aide close to the family told AFP. No word was available on his condition

"I have tested positive for Covid-19," the 82-year-old politician wrote on Twitter. "May Almighty Allah bless me and all other sick people with a speedy recovery and good health!"

After leaving office in 2008 Gayoom has remained an active political figure. Opponents have accused him of being an autocratic leader during his three decades in power.

However, he is also credited with being an early campaigner against global warming and sea level rise which he had warned could wipe the low-lying Maldives off the face of the earth.

The Maldives, known for upmarket island tourism, reopened its international borders to visitors in mid-July after a three-month halt that crippled the hospitality industry.

It has seen a steady increase in cases in recent weeks and has reported a total of 7,047 infections and 28 deaths since the virus began to spread globally earlier this year.