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COVID-19: HPA places seven local islands in Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu Atoll under monitoring

Ali Shareef
19 April 2020, MVT 17:15
Women pictured sweeping the beach in local island Uligan in Haa Alfu Atoll. Seven islands in Haa Alifu and Haa Dhaalu Atoll are now under lockdown in connection with the first recorded COVID-19 case in the capital. PHOTO: ARUSHAD AHMED/FLICKR
Ali Shareef
19 April 2020, MVT 17:15

Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Sunday placed five islands in Haa Alifu Atoll and two islands in Haa Dhaalu Atoll under monitoring over a suspected case of COVID-19.

The HPA's decision followed the tracing of a man from Uligan in Haa Alifu Atoll, found to have stayed in the same apartment building as the first confirmed COVID-19 patient (known as case MAV021) whilst in Male', who had since travelled to the local island Uligan via sea transport on April 15.

As reported by local news Mihaaru, the local man from Uligan remains in isolation on the island, while the health agency awaits confirmation of his test results. Reportedly, after his return to Uligan, the local also visited Ihavandhoo, located in the same atoll.

In connection to the case, Uligan is now under monitoring for additional contact screenings until further notice, along with Haa Alif Atoll's Thuraakunu, Ihavandhoo, Thakandhoo, Hoarafushi, and two islands in Haa Dhaalu Atoll including Hirimaradhoo and Vaikaradhoo. Unauthorized entry and exit to and from these local islands is completely prohibited.

Maldives' first confirmed case of COVID-19 from the capital city, Male' was recorded on April 15, involving a local woman who presented to the flu clinic in Malé after developing coronavirus-like symptoms. At present, the country has not confirmed an index patient for the outbreak.

In response to the first confirmed case of community transmission of COVID-19 in the capital, Malé City, along with the greater Malé region, was placed under a lockdown for a 24-hour period.

Health Protection Agency's (HPA) on Friday extended the lockdown on greater Male region for a period of 14 days after new cases surfaced in the capital.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced the 31st case of COVID-19 in the capital on Sunday afternoon after 13 Bangladeshis, linked to cluster MAV027, tested positive for COVID-19 along with two Indian nationals, linked to MAV028, confirmed positive.

Maldives now has 51 confirmed and 35 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries. Of the above, a total of 31 positive cases were reported in capital city Male', one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.3 million people and claimed over 160,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 599,997 people have recovered.

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