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COVID-19: Maldives’ death toll hits 50

Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 January 2021, MVT 18:19
Frontline workers donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PHOTO: MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
21 January 2021, MVT 18:19

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Thursday, announced the 50th COVID-19 related death in Maldives.

The deceased was a 77-year-old Maldivian male, who was rushed to the Emergency Room at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in an unresponsive state.

He was declared dead at 1014 hrs.

He is the 43rd local to have succumbed to the virus in Maldives. The remaining fatalities consist of seven expatriates, including six Bangladeshi nationals and one Filipino citizen.

Maldives now records a total of 14,712 virus cases of which 1,017 are active cases, in addition to 13,639 recoveries and 50 deaths.

Last August, authorities tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male' region, following an alarming upsurge of COVID-19 cases after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions. After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers fell to two-digits during the most part of September 2020.

Throughout the rest of last year, numbers had slipped further down below 50, with a few spikes on rare occasions.

However, cases have been on the rise throughout January 2021, with active cases surpassing the 1,000-mark after months of recording three-digit numbers. New clusters were identified on operational resorts as well as several islands in the south.

HPA recently eased several safety measures imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. These leniencies include the cancellation of the city-wide curfew over the greater Male’ region, the reduction of quarantine periods to 10 days as well as cancelling mandatory quarantine for locals returning to Maldives and for locals travelling to resorts.

But the agency has renewed calls for citizens to adhere to protective measures to contain the spread of the virus, cautioning against a public sentiment that the outbreak has been “controlled”.

On March 12, 2020, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 97.4 million people and claimed over 2 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 69.9 million people have recovered.

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