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COVID-19: Maldives extends public health emergency till September 6

Shahudha Mohamed
07 August 2020, MVT 23:19
People go about their daily lives in the bustling Maldivian capital Male' amidst the 'new normal'. Authorities have continually requested the public to adhere to the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s safety guidelines in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
07 August 2020, MVT 23:19

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen, on Friday night, extended the State of Public Health Emergency, declared in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until September 6.

Prior to the 24-day addition, the government has stretched the public emergency for over 5 months.

The island nation declared its first-ever state of public health emergency, under Section 33 of the 7/2012 Public Health Act, over the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12 for a period of 30 days. It has since been extended four times. The last extension was made on July 14, till August 7.

Maldives now records total 4,769 confirmed and 1,996 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,754 recoveries and 19 deaths.

Currently, the island nation records the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases confirmed per capita in the entire globe.

The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita, after recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, indicates an alarming community spread in the country, with recovery numbers slipping in stark contrast to newly identified cases.

The recent spike reduced the total amount of recovered patients from the peak 86 to 58 percent.

The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed 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.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé continue to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15. In addition to the Male' region, cases are present in 12 islands and seven resorts across the archipelago.

Noting the economic repercussions of implementing lockdown measures again, authorities have cntinually requested the public to adhere to HPA's safety guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus as life continues in the 'new normal'.

Authorities are now shutting down establishments that violate HPA's guidelines. The state has also announced a curfew from 2200hrs to 0500hrs in the Greater Male' region, where the spread is centred, as a precautionary measure to curb the virus spread.

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 19.3 million people and claimed over 720,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 12.4 million people have recovered.

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