National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Tuesday, commenced testing for COVID-19 tests and doing contact tracing, for all passengers that arrived to Maldives from the United Kingdom (UK) between March 14 to 19.
Travel restrictions on the UK were implemented on March 19, as a means to further curb the spread of the virus. As it stands, only Maldivian citizens are allowed to return homebound during this period but they will nevertheless be subject to quarantine protocols.
During the nation-wide broadcasted press conference held at convention centre Dharubaaruge, Mabrouq Abdul Azeez, President's Office's Communications Undersecretary, stated that in order to guarantee maximum safety, NEOC's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) decided to conduct tests and contact tracing for the period prior to the restrictions.
In response to a question posed at the conference, Mabrouq revealed that approximately 50 people had returned during the five day period.
Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed, former President of Maldives, has also confirmed that he would abide by HPA's protocol, having travelled to the UK on March 11, returning on March 14. At the time of his travel, there were no restrictions or travel advisories against movements between the two countries.
The country now records 18 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions are recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 859,70 people and claimed over 42,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 178,300 people have recovered.