The Health Protection Agency confirmed during the early hours of Friday, that an additional 72 more individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in the capital city of Male'.
According to the agency, the newly confirmed cases (MAV0396 to MAV0468) involve only foreign nationals - all are males hailing from Bangladesh, aged between 21 to 56 years old. However, details of age are not available for 14 individuals.
The 72 persons just found to be positive for the virus are all related to an already identified cluster (MAV0129).
This development marks a near doubling of figures in confirmed cases, within a 24 hour period.
Maldives now records 468 confirmed, 451 active cases of COVID-19 and a total of 17 recoveries. The country recorded its first virus death, an 83-year-old local female, on Wednesday evening.
Following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15, Malé has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. The city is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
The disease has also disproportionately affected the country's large expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals and live in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing.
Accordingly, police authorities previously confirmed that over 20 areas were being closely monitored for the likelihood of illness present, while a certain number of expatriates were also relocated having found their living conditions to be unsustainable.
In addition to the capital, COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Uligan in Haa Alif Atoll, Narudhoo and Milandhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, and Thulusdhoo in Kaafu Atoll.
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 3.3 million people and claimed over 234,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than a million people have recovered.