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Maldives bans cruise ships, entry from Iran and S.Korea

Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 February 2020, MVT 10:40
MSC Magnifica, a 965-foot passenger liner that arrived in Male' on April 10, 2019. FILE PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
27 February 2020, MVT 10:40

The Maldivian government late Wednesday banned entry of all cruise ships, and arrivals from Iran and two regions of South Korea over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen made the announcement at a press conference held at the President's Office, stating that they were part of the new stringent precautionary measures to safeguard the Maldivian people.

Per the development, all cruise ships are banned from entering and docking in Maldives, as well as any individuals that have travelled or transited from Iran, and Daegu and Gyeongbuk in South Korea.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih decided on the new measures following deliberations with relevant stakeholders, per the minister.

Noting that Maldives has not had a positive case of the virus so far, Minister Ameen assured that the administration is treating all suspected cases with caution, such as a 14-day quarantine process for individuals suspected of carrying the infection, and a screening process in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO)'s recommendations.

He added that the government is closely monitoring the worldwide situation, and revising the precautionary measures implemented accordingly. The minister concluded the press conference by reiterating that the safety and security of the Maldivian people is the highest priority of the government.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs also cautioned Maldivians against all non-essential travel to Iran and South Korea over the outbreak.

The government previously banned entry to all persons that have travelled of transited from China, as well as cancelled all flights from the Asian giant.

COVID-19, a new type of coronavirus which originated in Wuhan City, China, has killed more than 2,700 individuals and infected over 81,200 around the world.

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