Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed that two additional locals tested positive for COVID-19 from Male.
As per the agency, the two newly tested positive cases, MAV024 and MAV025 were identified as 'direct contacts of the first positive case MAV021 in Male.
Additionally, HPA stated that these two individuals are currently in a quarantine facility and are being moved to an isolation facility for treatment and observation.
This marks the fifth case of local transmission in Maldives. The first case was a female with no recent travel history, who presented to the flu clinic in Male after developing symptoms.
National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) revealed to the press that the initial case (MAV021) had over 200 direct contacts within five days prior to testing positive. Due to this, tracing back to the 'patient zero' is challenging as per NEOC.
So far, 75 high-risk contacts, 43 medium-risk contacts and 89 low-risk contacts have been identified.
In response to the first local transmission of the coronavirus, HPA issued a Red alert for Male City and placed the greater Male region under lockdown for 24 hours, beginning 1530 hrs on Wednesday afternoon. The lockdown prohibits all civilians sans those with special permits to leave their residences, as well as a ban on all land and sea transportation within the area. This lockdown has now been extended until 1430hrs, April 17.
Furthermore, 22 households spanning across Maldives is placed under lockdown for contact tracing. While the majority of these residences are in Male, there are some in Hulhumale', Vashafaru Haa Alif Atoll, Kaashidhoo Kaafu Atoll, Addu city and Madifushi Thaa Atoll.
Authorities continue to reiterate the importance of remaining indoors and exercising measures such as social distancing and request the elderly, pregnant women and children to exercise particular caution.
Maldives now has 25 confirmed and nine active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over two million people and claimed over 145,521 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 547,295 people have recovered.