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COVID-19: Maldives records 81 new cases, 111 recoveries

Shahudha Mohamed
19 September 2020, MVT 22:41
Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC)'s Spokesperson Dr Nazla Rafeeq. PHOTO: HEOC
Shahudha Mohamed
19 September 2020, MVT 22:41

Authorities, on Saturday, confirmed an additional 81 cases of COVID-19 and 111 recoveries in Maldives.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the new cases include 58 locals and 23 foreigners.

Speaking at the press conference held by the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC), the centre's Spokesperson and HPA's Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq revealed that 70 of the additional infections were reported in the Greater Male' Region, while the remaining 11 cases were detected from islands outside of the capital area.

She added that eight of the 11 cases were identified aboard a safari.

With these developments, Maldives currently records a total of 9,649 virus cases of which 1,422 are active cases, in addition to 8,188 recoveries and 33 deaths.

In addition to Male' area, Dr Nazla noted that 52 cases are present in 22 inhabited islands. Moreover, infections are present in 25 resorts including 15 tourists and 39 staff members.

Dr Nazla highlighted that Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll's Hoandehdhoo, along with adjacent Madaveli, is still under monitoring. HPA had confirmed a community spread in Madaveli, with 44 infections, marking the first community spread identified in Maldives outside the capital region.

During Saturday's press conference, Dr Nazla revealed that 25 of the 44 patients have now recovered from the virus, leaving 19 active cases in Hoandehdhoo. She added that no positive cases were identified on the island since September 17, although contact tracing and testing is still ongoing.

A total of 230 contacts were identified and quarantined regarding the outbreak in Hoandehdhoo, she said.

During last month, authorities tightened the safety measures implemented in the Greater Male' region, following an alarming upsurge of COVID-19 cases after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions.

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

After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers have slipped down to two-digits during the past two weeks.

Within this same period, the number of recoveries saw a significant increase, bringing the number of recovered cases to 84.8 percent.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

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 30.8 million people and claimed over 958,500 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 22.4 million people have recovered.

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