Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed on Tuesday announced the decision to develop an additional 1,000 rooms as part of its effort to curb the COVID-19 outbreak within the Greater Male' region.
Speaking at a press conference, Minister Waheed noted that although Maldives has yet to entirely ban all inbound and transit flights, the country is effectively in a state of lockdown.
The government also converted the airport transit hotel 'Hulhule' Island Hotel' (HIH) into a quarantine facility and transferred all 15 individuals in isolation at Vilivaru to HIH.
As a precautionary measure to contain the spread to local islands, a temporary ban on tourists from checking in to guesthouses and hotels across the country was imposed on Tuesday, for a period of 14 days until March 31.
The government has also imposed travel restrictions between resorts and local islands.
Currently there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maldives, 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.