Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC), on Monday night, confirmed the local transmission of COVID-19 in Haa Dhaalu Atoll's Kulhudhuffushi City.
Speaking at the press conference hosted by HEOC, the centre's Spokesperson and Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq stated that local transmission was confirmed following the contact tracing efforts carried out after four individuals tested positive for the virus on Friday.
At the same press briefing, Ibrahim Nazim revealed that authorities have now collected samples from 183 individuals, including 15 students and seven teachers, identified through contact tracing.
He noted that contacts related to the newly identified cases in Kulhudhuffushi are also present in Dhihdhoo, Baarah and Hoarafushi in Haa Alif Atoll, as well as Fonadhoo in Shaviyani Atoll.
Nazim stated that samples were also collected from 47 contacts identified from Dhihdhoo.
Kulhudhuffushi has been placed under monitoring since October 5 with the identification of a positive case on the island.
With the confirmation of local transmission, Dr Abdulla Mauroof requested all the citizens of Kulhudhuffushi to adhere to the guidelines published by Health Protection Agency (HPA), such as wearing masks in public.
Cafe's and restaurants are also required to follow HPA's guidelines to minimise the risk of virus spread.
Maldives currently records a total of 11,232 virus cases of which 987 are active cases, in addition to 10,201 recoveries and 37 deaths.
During August, 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.
After a long period of recording over 100 daily cases, the numbers fell to two-digits during the most part of September. Within this same period, the number of recoveries saw a significant increase, bringing the number of recovered cases to over 90 percent.
Despite the sustained decrease in virus cases, HPA has renewed calls for citizens to adhere to protective measures to contain the spread of the virus, cautioning against a public sentiment that the outbreak has been “controlled”.