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HPA closes down 33 establishments over COVID-19 safety protocol violations

Fathmath Shaahunaz
04 August 2020, MVT 13:08
Cafe's and restaurants open in Male' City with new COVID-19 safety guidelines as the country enters the 'new normal'. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
04 August 2020, MVT 13:08

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) shut down 33 establishments on Monday for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Under HPA's ongoing follow-up mass public health inspection, teams from the agency inspected 174 establishments on August 3, to ensure the proper implementation of coronavirus safety guidelines and precautionary measures in cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, fitness centres, salons and markets.

The establishments that were temporarily closed down include 17 shops, 10 cafés and restaurants, five salons and barber shops, one spa and one market.

Establishments issued a ‘notice of closure’, may request re-inspection after having taken the recommended corrective action.

HPA launched its first mass inspection of service providers in early July to ascertain whether 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 the majority of businesses and other establishments found to be 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.

At present, Maldives records total 4,293 confirmed and 1,589 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,670 recoveries and 19 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 18.4 million people and claimed over 697,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 11.6 million people have recovered.

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