A record amount of 152 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives on Thursday, while 14 recovered from the disease.
Speaking at the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) press conference, spokesperson and Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s medical officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq disclosed that the new cases include 89 Maldivians, 54 Bangladeshi nationals, five Indian nationals and four Sri Lankans.
According to Dr Nazla, 142 of the cases were detected from the Greater Male' Region and 10 from other islands. The latter include an individual that tested positive from Kamadhoo, Baa Atoll, and nine from a safari that travelled to Kelaa, Haa Alif Atoll.
Dr Nazla stated that the safari had been docked at capital Male' for two weeks, and arrived at Kelaa on July 24. The captain, who tested positive first, had had symptoms before embarking from Male' but was only tested after arriving in Kelaa.
Earlier the same day, HPA also confirmed the 16th COVID-19 related death in Maldives. The deceased was a 71-year-old Maldivian female, who was admitted in the ER at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the morning over breathing difficulties.
In addition to the Greater Male' region, active virus cases are currently present in Kelaa of Haa Alif Atoll, Soneva Jani resort of Noonu Atoll, Inguraidhoo of Raa Atoll, Eydhafushi, Kamadhoo and Seaside Finolhu resort of Baa Atoll, Kurendhoo of Lhaviyani Atoll, and Maafushi of Kaafu Atoll.
With these developments, Maldives now records total 3,719 confirmed and 1,120 positive cases, along with 2,568 recoveries and 16 deaths.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant number of COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.
Following three months of strict lockdown, the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region in July.
COVID-19 cases surged again after the government eased restrictions, reducing the total amount of recovered patients from the peak 86 to 71 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 17.2 million people and claimed over 672,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 10.7 million people have recovered.