The Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Tuesday revealed that the fourth Maldivian tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the agency, the individual in question was found positive for the novel coronavirus while placed under quarantine at the facility located on Velidhoo Island, Alif Alif Atoll, after having recently returned to the Maldives from the United Kingdom (UK).
Thus far, all four confirmed cases of coronavirus involving Maldivians were of locals that travelled home from the UK. According to UK's The Independent COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout the UK with a 27 percent day-on-day increase.
In the UK, as of 31 March 2020, a total of 143,186 people were tested, of which 25,150 were confirmed positive.
The third Maldivian tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, while located at Royal Island Resort, Baa Atoll. The second Maldivian also tested positive while under quarantine at Royal Island Resort while the first tested positive during quarantine at Holiday Island Resort.
With this new development, Maldives now has 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries . Despite the three confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions are recorded.
Speaking to the press on March 27, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen asserted that the situation had not reached 'community spread' stage; the infection is not considered to be spreading among the Maldivian community.
Nevertheless, the minister added that authorities are working under the assumption that the virus may be present within the community and urged the citizens to obey the current safety measures put in place by the government.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 872, 900 people and claimed over 43,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 184, 000 people have recovered.