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News in brief: onion prices soar

The onion shortage was caused by flooding in India.



Onion price soar due to shortage

Businesses are unable to import onions from India, leading to a severe shortage and price hikes across the Maldives.

According to local media, prices for 25 kilo onion bags have soared to MVR1,200 (US$78) from MVR250 (US$17). Per kilo prices in convenience stores have also risen up to MVR50 from around MVR15.

Most wholesalers have completely run out of onion stocks. The shortage is caused by severe flooding in India’s onion producing states like Maharashtra.

According to the Times of India, the Indian government has released onion stocks from last year’s harvest in an attempt to control rising prices. India has also taken measures to restrict the export of onions by increasing minimum export prices and withdrawing incentives.

But according to the foreign ministry, the Maldives has an exemption related to the restrictions on onion exports under a special arrangement with India. Maldivian businesses should be able to export onions from India without any issue, a ministry official told the Maldives Independent.

Young man’s leg amputated after boat accident

A young man’s leg was amputated after a boating accident in Raa atoll.

Abdulla Haleem, 27, was snorkelling near an uninhabited island when his leg hit the propeller of a dinghy. According to family members who spoke to local media, his left leg was nearly cut off above the ankle. Doctors amputated the leg after as it was not possible to connect the severed part.

Haleem will be able to walk using a prosthetic leg, a family member said.

4,000 people receive mental health care

Around 4000 people have been seen by doctors at a new mental health clinic in the largest public hospital, according to the health ministry.

The Mental Health Centre was opened at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in March this year to fulfil a campaign pledge of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Treatment for mental illnesses are also covered under the national health insurance scheme now.

In a statement on the occasion of World Mental Health day, the health ministry announced it will be opening a mental health unit at the Health Protection Agency to monitor services. The government also plans to ensure availability of mental health care across the country in five regional hospitals.

Manta Air welcomes first seaplane

Manta Air welcomed its first seaplane on Wednesday, the first of 10 seaplanes the private airline plans to bring in order to launch seaplane operations in November.

“We will be starting with fixed schedule, advanced booking capabilities and for the first time in Maldives, we will make the seaplane service reliable to all our passengers which will operate on a fixed schedule dedicated to on time performance,” said Ahmed Maumoon, CMO of Manta Air.

The DHC-6 Twin Otters will come fitted with Garmin G950 equipment, which “includes dual core modern processing power, providing crew with immediate access to flight plan data and weather radar information,” Manta Air said in a press release.

The upgrade removes cable from the cockpit to make the aircraft lighter and reduces maintenance cost, it added.

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