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Maldives extends state of public health emergency to Aug 7

Rae Munavvar
15 July 2020, MVT 00:26
Minister of Health Ameen meets with ministry officials at the emergency operations centre. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Rae Munavvar
15 July 2020, MVT 00:26

Maldives, on Tuesday, extended the currently implemented state of public health emergency due to the global pandemic COVID-19 has been extended until August 7. 



Prior to the 24-day addition, the government has stretched the public emergency for over 4 months.

The statement was made late evening by Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) spokesperson Dr Nazla Rafeeg at the regularly held press briefing.

Minister of Health Abdullah Ameen, declared the island nation’s first-ever state of public health emergency, under Section 33 of the 7/2012 Public Health Act on over the COVID-19 pandemic from March 12 onwards for a period of 30 days. It has since been extended thrice, first on April 10 for 30 days, then till the end of May and again till July 14.

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.

The lockdown measure was further extended with the government banning travel restrictions across the country and stretched onwards till May 28.

Authorities then began easing out of the restrictions on May 29, entering a ‘new normal’ on July 1, in which government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants resumed services, with tightened measures.

However, after recording low numbers for several weeks, the recent spike of virus cases has reduced the total amount of recovered patients from 86 to 82 percent.

Nevertheless, the country remains poised to reopen borders to welcome tourists on July 15.

Maldives presently has a total of 2,801 confirmed and 470 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 2,302 recoveries and 14 deaths.

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 13.3 million people and claimed over 577,799 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 7.78 million people have recovered.

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