The government on Sunday revealed that three Indian nationals that were repatriated from Maldives had tested positive for COVID-19.
During the virtually broadcasted daily press conference held at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), President's Office's Communications Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez confirmed ongoing speculations that Indians that joined the repatriation efforts had contracted the virus.
Following the discovery, Mabrouq further noted that contact tracings were ongoing, adding that the three were employed by Bison Maldives Pvt Ltd.
As part of the joint repatriation efforts led by the two governments, nearly 1,500 Indian citizens have returned to their country.
The COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Local and international civil society organizations describe these living quarters as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".
Since the beginning of the community-wide outbreak of COVID-19 in Maldives, the total number of Bangladeshi expatriates that have tested positive for the virus has surpassed 550. Foreign nationals constitute roughly 65 percent of all recorded cases in the country.
With this development, Maldives currently records 1,094 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,031 active cases, 59 recoveries and four fatalities. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since recording its first local transmission on April 15.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.8 million people and claimed over 316,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.8 million people have recovered.