The island council of Dhuvaafaru, Raa Atoll, temporarily placed the island under monitoring after three individuals tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Dhuvaafaru Health Centre, eleven individuals that returned to the island on June 19 were released from home quarantine on Thursday after they tested negative for the virus on July 4. However, three of them tested positive for COVID-19 after samples were retaken from four individuals.
Dhuvaafaru Island Council stated that contact tracing efforts were currently underway as the three individuals had come into contact with several of the island's residents between 1430 and 1700 hrs on Thursday.
Public gatherings, praying in congregation and group sports will be prohibited under the monitoring measures. Additionally, all restaurants and cafe's are to be closed while shops can only operate under strict regulations.
As per the council, the restrictive measures will remain in place until the Health Protection Agency (HPA) makes a decision concerning the situation.
Recently, several individuals across the country were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 when authorities conducted diagnostic tests following the completion of their home quarantine periods. This includes two individuals in Nolhivaram, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, one from Himmafushi, Kaafu Atoll and one child in Thoddoo, Alif Alif Atoll.
Overall, Maldives presently records a total of 2,664 confirmed and 368 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country reports 2,268 recoveries and 13 deaths.
While positive cases were reported from several islands across the country, the brunt of Maldives' COVID-19 outbreak fell on the capital city of Male', one of the most densely populated cities in the world. During the weeks after the first confirmed local transmission on April 15, authorities recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases. However, the number of recoveries have continued to rise, with over 85 percent of patients now recovered.
Following the improvements, the government initiated the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. Government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants restarted services on July 1 while authorities are prepared to reopen Maldives' borders for tourism on July 15.
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 12.8 million people and claimed over 567,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 7.4 million people have recovered.