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COVID-19: HPA confirms 43 new cases

Ahmed Aiham
20 May 2020, MVT 12:10
Infographics compiled by the National Emergency Operation Centre. PHOTO: NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE
Ahmed Aiham
20 May 2020, MVT 12:10

Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Wednesday confirmed that 43 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives.

According to the agency, the new cases (MAV1143 to MAV1186) include 10 Maldivians and 33 foreigners, of which 28 individuals are from Bangladesh, four from India and one from Nepal.

With this development, Maldives currently records 1,186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1096 active cases. The country has reported four fatalities and a total of 86 recoveries till date.

Maldives' capital Malé, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since recording its first local transmission of the virus on April 15, involving a Maldivian woman who sought assistance from a flu clinic in Malé after developing symptoms for the virus.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Local and international civil society organizations describe these living quarters as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".

Since the beginning of the community-wide outbreak of COVID-19 in Maldives, the total number of Bangladeshi expatriates that have tested positive for the virus has surpassed 600. Overall, foreign nationals constitute roughly 64 percent of all recorded cases in the country.

Bangladeshi citizens make up the majority of the expatriate population in Maldives, which numbers at over 144,600, out of which authorities earlier estimated that 63,000 were undocumented.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.98 million people and claimed over 324,970 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.95 million people have recovered.