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No tourists in greater Male region tonight onwards: HPA

Rae Munavvar
14 March 2020, MVT 16:33
HPA and NDMA hold joint drill on precautionary and response measures to COVID-19. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS / MIHAARU
Rae Munavvar
14 March 2020, MVT 16:33

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced on Saturday, a restriction banning the arrival of tourists to hotels and guest houses located in the greater Male region effective 0000 hours (Sunday) onwards.

Implemented under the recently declared state of Public Health Emergency, the two-week ban applies to all foreign nationals that may have made reservations to stay in the area.

HPA publicized the decision via Twitter, sharing a document that states, “guest houses and city hotels in Male (Male, Villimale, Hulhumale) should not allow any foreign visitor to check in to their premises for 14 days starting from 12:00 tonight."

HPA's announcement concerning the two-week closure of guesthouses and city hotels in Male'.

However, it goes on to state that guests already residing at the proprieties would be allowed to stay for the duration of their original booking.

The document was signed by HPA’s Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru.

This restrictive measure, prompted by the confirmation of a 10th COVID19 case on the same day, marks the most prominent decision thus far made by HPA since its declaration of a public health emergency.

The only steps previously made were to quarantine resorts and restrict travel originating from the particular islands.

As another foreigner is added to the growing list of those affected by the novel coronavirus in Maldives, the agency is yet to clarify whether those testing positive compromise wholly of tourists visiting the country, or is inclusive of expatriate workers from resorts. Thus far, no Maldivians have tested positive for COVID19.

In the time of public health emergency, Health Minister Abdulla Ameen will be advised by HPA’s Director General of Public Health Maimoona. She is tasked with informing the public post discussions between herself, the minister and his expert counsel.

Globally, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 145,000 and claimed over 5,400 lives around the world. Out of those infected, more than 71,000 have recovered.

At present, the worst statistics have been attributed to European nations, with the Italy under complete lockdown in response to a rapidly increasing mortality count and other countries scrambling to counter with less severe but no less serious measures.

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