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HPA to shut down establishments that violate COVID-19 safety guidelines

Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 July 2020, MVT 10:54
A server, donning a face mask and gloves, serves water in a cafe' as authorities lift restrictions across Male' City, entering the 'new normal'. HPA is launching a mass public health inspection to ascertain whether service establishments are adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 July 2020, MVT 10:54

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) warned late Tuesday that any service providers found to be in violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines will be shut down.

The agency is to launch a follow-up mass public health inspection across the Greater Male' Region this Thursday.

Under this operation, HPA will inspect the adherence to its coronavirus safety guidelines and precautionary measures in cafés and restaurants, shops, gyms and fitness centres, salons and markets.

'Establishments that do not comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines will be shut-down", stated HPA.

The agency conducted the first mass inspection of service providers earlier this month to ascertain whether service establishments held the required government permits, implemented proper social distancing measures and observed other safety protocols.

The results of the first inspection were less than optimal, with HPA disclosing that the majority of businesses and other establishments were operating in violation of the restrictive measures.

The inspections are a joint effort by HPA, Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA), Male' City Council, the Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives Police Service, Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC), Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO).

HPA's second operation comes amidst a resurgence of increasing COVID-19 cases in Maldives. After recording low numbers for several weeks in May and early June, the number of cases began to increase again after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region on July 1.

A record number of 137 new cases within a single day was confirmed this Tuesday.

The total number of positive cases in Maldives has reached 3,506, with 929 active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,547 recoveries and 15 deaths.

The recent spike of virus cases has reduced the total amount of recovered patients from the peak 86 to 75 percent.

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 16.8 million people and claimed over 663,500 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 10.4 million people have recovered.

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