The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Wednesday, temporarily shut down 20 establishments for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.
As part of its ongoing follow-up mass public health inspection, HPA inspected 235 establishments on the sixth day of its operation to ensure the proper implementation of coronavirus safety guidelines and precautionary measures in cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, fitness centres, salons and markets.
The temporarily closed establishments include three cafés and restaurants, three shops, six salons and barber shops as well as three markets.
Establishments issued a ‘notice of closure’, may request re-inspection after having taken 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.
Maldives currently records total 4,594 confirmed and 1,869 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,706 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 18.9 million people and claimed over 711,400 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 12.1 million people have recovered.