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COVID-19: Maldives extends state of public health emergency

Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2020, MVT 17:16
Health Minister Abdulla Ameen speaks at NEOC press conference on the COVID-19 situation in Maldives. PHOTO/NEOC
Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 April 2020, MVT 17:16

Maldives extended the State of Public Health Emergency, declared over the COVID-19 pandemic, until the end of May.

In a resolution gazetted Thursday, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen announced the decision based on the counsel of Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru, stating that there was still danger of the coronavirus spreading across the nation and the need to implement special measures to control COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of the public.

The minister called on the director general to proceed with the measures under the Public Health Act, as necessary per the evolving circumstances.

Maldives announced its first ever State of Public Health Emergency on March 12, under Section 33 of the 7/2012 Public Health Act, which was in effect for a period of 30 days. It was extended on April 10 until the end of the month, prior to the new development.

In addition to the emergency, authorities on Wednesday extended the lockdown implemented across the Greater Male' region for an additional 14 days as well.

The government has moved to curb the spread of the virus under special measures implemented under the public health emergency, including the closure of government offices and all educational institutions, a nationwide travel ban, and closing down Maldives' borders.

Presently, Maldives records 396 confirmed and 378 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 17 recoveries. The country recorded its first virus death, an 83-year-old local female, on Wednesday evening.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3.2 million people and claimed over 228,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 1 million people have recovered.

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