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Tourism Ministry warns shutdowns of resorts violating HPA guidelines

Ahmed Aiham
05 November 2020, MVT 12:58
Kandima Maldives resort in Maldives. A total of 46 individuals at the resort tested positive for COVID-19 by November 3. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Ahmed Aiham
05 November 2020, MVT 12:58

Ministry of Tourism, on Wednesday, warned tourist establishments of indefinite shutdowns if found in violation of Health Protection Agency (HPA) guidelines.

The warnings come at a time when a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred on Kandima Maldives in Dhaalu Atoll, where 46 active cases are recorded.

The outbreak in Kandima was only brought to the attention of authorities after a staff member of the resort, aged 60, was transferred to Kudahuvadhoo Hospital in the same atoll for testing. He has since succumbed to the virus, marking the 38th COVID-19 related death in Maldives.

Although the management is accused of negligence, HPA is yet to confirm whether an investigation is taking place over the matter.

As with numerous countries around the world, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals on March 27. The government reopened the border and tourist resorts on July 15, while opening local guesthouses for tourism on October 15.

The restrictions on international travel left Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy in an extremely vulnerable state. In mid-April, the World Bank projected that Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

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