Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Friday announced the sixth positive case of COVID-19 in capital Male.
As per the agency, this case (MAV026) was a 'direct contact' of MAV023.
The patient is currently being taken to an isolation facility for treatment and observation.
With this, the number of local transmission cases in Maldives increased to six. The first case, (MAV021) was a local female with no recent travel history, who presented to the flu clinic in Male after developing symptoms. She was tested positive on April 15.
This was soon followed by a second (MAV022) and third (MAV023) positive case on April 16, which were identified to be 'direct contacts' of the initial case.
Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth cases (MAV025 and MAV026) was tested positive and identified as 'direct contacts' of MAV023.
As per the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) revealed to the press that the initial case (MAV021) had over 200 direct contacts within five days prior to testing positive. Due to this, tracing back to the 'patient zero' is challenging as per NEOC.
So far, 75 high-risk contacts, 43 medium-risk contacts and 89 low-risk contacts have been identified.
In response to the first local transmission of the coronavirus, HPA issued a Red alert for Male City and placed the greater Male region under lockdown for 24 hours, beginning 1530 hrs on Wednesday afternoon. The lockdown prohibits all civilians sans those with special permits to leave their residences, as well as a ban on all land and sea transportation within the area. This lockdown has now been extended until 1430hrs, April 17.
Furthermore, 22 households spanning across Maldives is placed under lockdown for contact tracing. While the majority of these residences are in Male, there are some in Hulhumale', Vashafaru Haa Alif Atoll, Kaashidhoo Kaafu Atoll, Addu city and Madifushi Thaa Atoll.
Maldives now has 26 confirmed and 10 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 145,521 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 547,295 people have recovered.