The state announced on Monday that the quarantine period for all the cases transferred from the airport transit hotel 'Hulhule' Island Hotel' (HIH) has been extended by 14 days.
Speaking at Monday's press briefing regarding the current situation, President's Office's Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez noted that the technical team made this decision, despite the present difficulty because "the administration must prioritize safety above all else".
"We cannot take the risk of bringing them back [into the city]", Mabrouq stressed.
The government converted HIH a quarantine facility on March 17 and transferred all 15 individuals in isolation at Vilivaru to HIH. However, the hotel was later vacated and everyone in isolation at HIH at the time was transferred to another facility, after which a Maldivian tested positive for COVID-19.
Therefore, authorities believe that anyone who was in contact with the individual must undergo a 14-day quarantine period to ensure they did not contract the virus.
Dr Moosa Murad stated that the extended quarantine period would be counted from the date of the incident and not the date of the announcement.
As these individuals were already in isolation, the total number of days they will have to spend in quarantine will be more than the standard period allocated for quarantine.
Maldives currently has four active cases which consist of two Maldivians quarantined after returning from the United Kingdom (UK) and two Italians that tested positive after departing from the country.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 734,994 people and claimed over 34,781 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 155,965 people have recovered.