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Maldives closes universities, colleges over COVID-19

Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 March 2020, MVT 16:44
Avid College graduates pictured during the 2019 graduation ceremony. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 March 2020, MVT 16:44

Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Saturday closed all universities, colleges and training facilities across Maldives for a period of 14 days, over the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement announcing the development, HPA's Director General of Public Health Maimoona Abubakr stated she made the decision under Section 34 (c) of the 7/2012 Public Health Act, as a measure taken under Maldives' ongoing state of public health emergency.

She ordered all institutions in the country to immediately implement the decision.

HPA's announcement comes in the wake of the tenth confirmed case of COVID-19 in the country. The patient is a foreign national from Kuredu Island Resort, who was initially among ten people identified to have been in contact with four other foreigners from Kuredu who tested positive for the virus. The rest of the suspected cases tested negative.

Maldives declared its first ever state of public health emergency last Thursday. The emergency will be in place for a period of 30 days.

Director General Maimoona has since announced several measures under the emergency to curb the spread of the coronavirus. These actions include closing down all parks and other public leisure spots in the Greater Male' region, as well as a ban on bringing tourists to all hotels and guesthouses within the area.

She also announced a travel ban on all resorts, effective from 1800 hrs Saturday. The restrictions on resorts and guesthouses will be in place for two weeks as well.

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