The Health Protection Agency (HPA) shut down 27 establishments on Wednesday over violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The agency inspected a total of 52 establishments on the first day of its follow-up mass public health inspection, undertaken to ensure the adherence to coronavirus safety guidelines and precautionary measures in cafés and restaurants, shops, gyms and fitness centres, salons and markets.
The establishments that were shut down include 17 cafés and restaurants, nine shops and one salon.
Establishments issued a ‘notice of closure’ may request re-inspection after taking the recommended corrective action.
HPA 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.
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.
Presently, the total number of positive cases in Maldives has reached 3,567, with 982 active cases. Till date, the country recorded 2,554 recoveries and 16 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 17.2 million people and claimed over 670,900 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 10.7 million people have recovered.