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Police arrest person swimming to Meedhoo from resort

Rae Munavvar
17 March 2020, MVT 16:20
Rae Munavvar
17 March 2020, MVT 16:20

Police, on Monday, arrested a person mid-swim in an attempt to flee to Meedhoo, Seenu Atoll from a nearby resort.

Authorities have confirmed that the Meedhoo Magistrate Court has remanded the person for a period of 14 days.

The attempted breakout occurred in the wake of the Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s announcement on Sunday, banning on all travel between resorts and inhabited islands for a 14-day period in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Identifying the swimmer as an employee at South Palm Resort, police stated that the incident took place during afternoon hours.

Authorities also revealed that the employee tried to leave the island after having consulted with the resort’s doctor and having confirmed that the person did not pose any risk.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 182,609 and claimed over 7,171 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 79, 883 have recovered.

Maldives, as well as many other countries, has since moved to quarantine areas with suspected cases, and isolate suspected and confirmed cases alike. However, despite significant public pressure to do so, and although all movement from resorts to islands is now restricted, the country is yet to issue a lockdown blocking all incoming travel from other countries.

As such, resort employees currently face the highest risk of exposure to the virus.

Furthermore, on Monday, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem issued a warning stating that quarantined or isolated persons being out in public in violation of protocol would constitute a criminal offence.

Maldives currently has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a tourist couple on a liveaboard, two cases from Anantara Dhigu, five foreign nationals from Kuredu Island Resort as well as two foreign citizens from Sandies Bathala and Kuramathi Maldives each. No locals have tested positive for the virus as of yet.