The Edition


COVID-19: Maldives to fine persons breaking quarantine

Ahmed Aiham
19 March 2020, MVT 09:48
Inside a room at the quarantine facility established on Vilivaru Island. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF TOURISM
Ahmed Aiham
19 March 2020, MVT 09:48

The government on Wednesday decided to impose fines and disclose personal information of those who violate formal quarantine and isolation protocols.

As a precautionary measure and to enforce best practices to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 in the country, authorities are prepared to fine individuals up to MVR 5,000.

Maldives Police Service on Tuesday apprehended a man in the capital's suburb of Vilimale' over disobeying an isolation order and handed him over to Health Protection Agency (HPA).

The local man had developed COVID-19 like symptoms and was instructed to remain in self isolation until HPA transferred him to the quarantine facility in Farukolhufushi.

Local law enforcement on Monday also arrested a person mid-swim in an attempt to flee to Meedhoo, Seenu Atoll from the nearby South Palm Resort.

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

Furthermore, Police guaranteed that any violation of instructions issued by Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru, under rights granted by the ongoing state of public health emergency, would be investigated with seriousness and that swift action would be taken.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has also issued a warning 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.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 219,000 and claimed over 8,960 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 85,670 have recovered.