Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Wednesday placed the greater Male' region under lockdown for 24 hours after a Maldivian national living in the capital tested positive for COVID-19, .
Marking the first COVID-19 case in the capital city, HPA's Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru announced that the following measures will be put in motion under the 24-hour lockdown:
- No vehicles and persons will be allowed on the streets of Male', Vilimale' and Hulhumale'
- Public transport including bus and ferry services between Male', Hulhumale' and Vilimale' will be stopped
- No persons will be allowed to enter or leave Male', Villimale', Hulhumale', Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu
These measures are applicable to all with the exception of the following:
- Officials and vehicles of Maldives Police Service and Maldives National Defence Force
- Ambulances, and healthcare professionals and their vehicles
- Persons holding a pass issued by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC)
- Media holding a pass issued by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC)
Furthermore, HPA announced that departure of all unauthorized vessels docked in any part of the capital city is prohibited during the lockdown period.
Due to the lockdown, police urged all citizens to return to their residences by 1530 hours.
Meanwhile, Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO) also revealed that following NEOC's advice, all of their services within the greater Male' region will cease for the duration of the lockdown period.
Hence, WAMCO urged all households and businesses to be mindful and minimise waste production as much as possible.
Soon after HPA announced a lockdown for Male region, the agency also revealed that Kaashidhoo, Kaafu Atoll was placed under monitoring until further notice. This was due to a 'direct contact' of the local who tested positive in Male' having recently travelled to Kaashidhoo.
Maldives now has 21 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over two million people and claimed over 126,700 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 484,800 people have recovered.