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COVID-19: Maldives records 21 new cases, 10 recoveries

Shahudha Mohamed
01 July 2020, MVT 22:56
People shopping at the local market in capital Male', wearing face masks amidst the ongoing pandemic. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
01 July 2020, MVT 22:56

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Wednesday, announced that 21 more individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives, while 10 patients made full recoveries.

According to the agency, the new cases include three Maldivians, 17 Bangladeshi nationals and one Sri Lankan citizen.

Speaking at the last press briefing held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), HPA's Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq noted that contacts were identified for 19 out of the 21 positive cases.

However, she noted that two of the individuals were independent cases that tested positive from samples collected in HPA's active surveillance process.

With these developments, Maldives presently has a total of 2,382 confirmed cases, out of which 414 are active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 1,954 recoveries.

HPA on Tuesday confirmed the ninth COVID-19-related death in Maldives.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the Maldives’ capital has disproportionately affected its migrant worker population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing.

Their often small-spaced living conditions have been described by local and international civil society organizations as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded". Meanwhile, the authorities have moved to identify such labour quarters and move the expatriates to safer environments.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

However, the number of recoveries have continued to rise, with over 82 percent of patients now recovered.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 10.6 million people and claimed over 516,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 5.8 million people have recovered.

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