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Closure of schools in Male' region extended by two weeks

Shahudha Mohamed
17 September 2020, MVT 19:32
A teacher checking a student's temperature at the gate of Centre for Higher Secondary Education (CHSE). PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
17 September 2020, MVT 19:32

Ministry of Education, on Thursday, announced that schools in the Greater Male' Region will remain closed for two additional weeks while students continue to attend online classes.

The ministry revealed that the decision to close all schools in Male' and its suburbs Hulhumale' and Vilimale' until October 1, was reached after consultations with relevant institutions including the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

As per the education ministry, the public health situation will be taken into consideration following the two-week closure, before further decisions regarding schools are finalised.

After a long period of closure since March 12 to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Maldives, teaching for all grades across the country resumed on July 1, except in the capital area.

Schools located in Male', the epicentre of Maldives' COVID-19 outbreak, only commenced teaching for grades nine to 12, while online lessons were provided for students of lower grades.

In response to a second surge of COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Education once again closed all schools in the Male' region for a two-week period on August 4. The closure was further extended following the expiry of the initial period.

At present, Maldives records 9,427 confirmed and 1,491 active COVID-19 cases, along with 7,903 recoveries and 33 deaths.

After recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, the island nation recorded a significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita, indicating an alarming community spread in the country.

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.

However, the number of daily cases saw a slight decrease after the state authorities again tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male' region in an attempt to control the community spread.

Authorities have stated that the effects of implementing stricter measures will be reflected in the case numbers towards the end of the month.

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 30 million people and claimed over 945,900 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 21.8 million people have recovered.

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