The Edition


HPA shuts down 50 establishments over violating safety regulations

Mariyam Malsa
30 July 2020, MVT 22:58
A server, donning a face mask and gloves, serves water in a cafe' as authorities lift restrictions across Male' City, entering the 'new normal'. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
30 July 2020, MVT 22:58

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Thursday, shut down 50 establishments operating in violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Speaking at a press conference held by the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC), spokesperson and HPA's medical officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq revealed that establishments shut down include 22 cafés and restaurants, 24 shops and four salons.

The agency inspected a total of 99 establishments on Thursday.

Initiated in response to a surge of COVID-19 cases, HPA's second mass public health inspection resulted in the closure of 27 establishments on Wednesday.

While 17 cafés and restaurants, nine shops and one salon were issued a ‘notice of closure’ on the first day of inspection, 26 have now been reopened. Only one establishment requested additional time to implement corrective measures.

HPA inspected cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, fitness centres, salons and markets as part of the drive to guarantee adherence to safety guidelines and precautionary measures.

The agency conducted its 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.

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.

Maldives now records total 3,719 confirmed and 1,120 positive cases, along with 2,568 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 672,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 10.7 million people have recovered.