Villa Hotels' recently closed down Fun Island Resort has been transformed into a quarantine facility, local media reported.
According to daily newspaper Mihaaru, the state spokesperson for the COVID-19 situation in Maldives, Mabrook Abdul Azeez, revealed Thursday that a number of individuals are already quarantined at the resort. The first batch comprises Maldivians that returned from badly-affected countries, including some locals that came back from Malaysia on Wednesday.
Although Maldives has banned entry from China, Italy, Iran, Bangladesh, Spain, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, and parts of South Korea, France and Germany, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is making arrangements to evacuate Maldivians who were visiting or residing in these countries when the travel restrictions were implemented amidst the virus pandemic.
All returning Maldivians must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, as per protocols enacted by Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru under the ongoing state of public health emergency in the country.
The administration has established a number of quarantine and isolation facilities around the country under measures taken against the coronavirus outbreak. They include the facilities at Farukolhufushi, Villivaru Island Resort, Hulhule Island Hotel, and Velidhoo Island Resort in addition to Fun Island.
Fun Island is among the resorts closed down by Villa Group due to the sharp decline in tourist arrivals over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed recently revealed that the number of passengers received at Velana International Airport (VIA) dropped from a daily average of 5,000 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, to 1,600 now.
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.