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Health Protection Agency updates safeguards against COVID-19

Ali Shareef
28 February 2020, MVT 12:51
Maldives Health Protection Agency (HPA) updates safeguards against COVID-19. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Ali Shareef
28 February 2020, MVT 12:51

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Thursday issued a travel advisory, highlighting updated preventative actions undertaken by the government of Maldives as safeguards against the COVID-19.

Citing the increase in sustained transmission of COVID-19 in regions outside of China, the HPA highlighted the following preventative actions taken by the government of Maldives:

- Temporary suspension on the entry of cruise liners into the country, effective 26 February 2020

- Temporary suspension of entry for travellers arriving from, or transiting, through Iran, effective 26 February 2020

- Temporary suspension of entry of travellers arriving from, or transiting through Daegu, Gyeongbuk, Busan, Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Gyeongnam in South Korea, effective from 3 March 2020

- Maldivians who travelled from, or have a transit history of 14 days from Iran, and the aforementioned regions of South Korea, will be held in quarantine for 14 days.

In addition, the health agency advised avoiding all non-essential travel to COVID-19 affected countries, especially by the elderly and individuals with chronic medical conditions.

If travelling, HPA advised travellers to familiarize themselves with the extent of the spread of the virus at the destination before travelling, adhere to recommendations provided by health authorities of the destination country, and limit visiting hospitals and health facilities.

The health agency further advised travellers to contact HPA hotline 1676, if they experience symptoms of fever and cough upon returning back to Maldives from an affected country.

The government also urged all Maldivians currently visiting or residing in the two countries to register at the foreign ministry on Thursday.

South Korea reported 256 more confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday morning, bringing the national total to 2,022, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The Health Ministry of Iran reported 245 cases on Thursday, up from 139 on Wednesday, with 26 deaths. Health experts say that given the number of fatalities, the number of infections is probably far higher than the official figure.

The new coronavirus has sown fear and anxiety, with more than 82,000 cases and nearly 3,000 confirmed deaths worldwide.

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