The Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Sunday confirmed the first local case of COVID-19 outside the capital city of Male'.
The individual tested positive for the virus in Uligan in Haa Alif Atoll after coming into contact with the first confirmed COVID-19 patient (known as case MAV021) in Male'.
According to HPA, the individual is currently awaiting transportation to an isolation facility.
The agency enacted monitoring measures on Uligan earlier on Sunday after confirming that an individual found to have stayed in the same apartment building as the first confirmed COVID-19 patient (known as case MAV021) whilst in Male', had travelled back to the local island via sea transport on April 15.
In connection to the case, HPA placed four additional islands in Haa Alif Atoll including Thuraakunu, Ihavandhoo, Thakandhoo and Hoarafushi, and Hirimaradhoo and Vaikaradhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll under monitoring. 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 identified an index patient for the outbreak.
As of now, Maldives records 52 confirmed and 36 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries. Of the above, a total of 31 positive cases were found in capital city Male', one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.3 million people and claimed over 161,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 606,100 people have recovered.