Belgian footballer Marouane Fellaini tested positive for COVID-19 after he returned to China on March 12, following his vacation at 'One&Only Reethi Rah'.
The former Manchester United midfielder now plays for Chinese club Shandong Luneng and was confirmed with the infection on March 20, following his return.
According to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), there is a possibility that Fellaini became infected while vacationing in Maldives, Considering his movements over the 14 days prior to testing positive, NEOC noted that Fellaini could have become infected on March 6.
NEOC has begun efforts to conduct contact tracings and isolate medium to high-risk individuals. Government has urged all individuals that came in contact with the footballer to inform authorities as soon as possible.
As such, two Maldivians were placed at the Velidhoo Quarantine Facility under suspicion of carrying the virus.
However, President's Office's Communications Undersecretary and key spokesperson over the pandemic Mabrouq Abdul Azeez claimed that it was unlikely that Fellaini contracted the virus during his vacation.
Maldives currently has 13 confirmed and 10 active cases of COVID-19. The country recorded its first two recoveries last Friday, and the third on Saturday. No Maldivians have tested positive for the virus as of yet. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections with no local transmissions.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 338,700 and claimed over 14,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 99,000 have recovered.