Chinese tourist seriously injured in Malé bike accident

Additional reporting by Ismail Humaam Hamid

A Chinese tourist has sustained serious injuries after being struck by a motorcycle in the capital city Malé yesterday.

Police have confirmed that the incident happened at 2:45pm as the tourist was attempting to take a photograph of the People’s Majlis on Medhuziyaari Magu.

After being taken to ADK hospital yesterday (September 20), Minivan News understands that the man – named by local media as Jiyathai Joo, aged 50 – has been flown to Sri Lanka for treatment of head injuries.

The motorcyclist involved in the incident – a 19-year-old identified in local media as Malé resident – has been arrested by police. He suffered only minor injuries in the collision.

Chinese tourists have become common increasingly common in the capital in recent years, with day trips offering a change of pace from the relaxed island resorts elsewhere in the atoll.

The rapidly expanding Chinese market now accounts for around 30 percent of the one million plus visitors to the country each year.

President Abdulla Yameen last week noted his desire to see further expansion of Chinese visitors during the historic visit of Chinese President Xi Jinpeng.

The occasion also saw the signing of a number of MoUs including one establishing a joint mechanism on dealing with the issue of safety and security of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives.

The most frequent source of accidents involving Chinese tourists involve snorkelling incidents, with the government having previously acknowledged the need to improve safety regulations in this respect.