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HPA closes down 40 establishments over violating COVID-19 safety guidelines

Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 August 2020, MVT 14:44
Cafe's and restaurants reopen in Male' City as the country enters the 'new normal'. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
02 August 2020, MVT 14:44

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Saturday, temporarily shut down 40 establishments over violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.

As part of its ongoing follow-up mass public health inspection, HPA inspected 189 establishments on the third day of its operation 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 temporarily closed down include 16 cafés and restaurants, 14 shops, nine salons and barber shops, and one market.

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 in early July 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.

A record number of 156 positive cases were confirmed this Saturday.

Currently, Maldives records 3,949 confirmed COVID-19 cases of which 1,304 are active cases, along with 2,613 recoveries and 17 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 18 million people and claimed over 688,700 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 11.3 million people have recovered.

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