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COVID-19: Maldives records 59 new cases, 36 recoveries

Shahudha Mohamed
13 January 2021, MVT 22:13
Tourists arriving at Velana International Airport. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
13 January 2021, MVT 22:13

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Wednesday, announced that a further 59 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 while 36 persons were reported as recovered.

According to the agency, 17 of the cases were identified from the Greater Male' Region, while nine cases were identified in inhabited islands and the remaining 33 cases were found in operational resorts.

Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) confirmed that 27 of the Wednesday’s cases tested positive from Oblu Select Sangeli resort.

According to HEOC, the first positive case found at the resort, on January 3, was a foreign staff who underwent a PCR test to travel abroad. Four more staff tested positive on January 11 after exhibiting symptoms, but they were not in contact with the aforementioned case.

HEOC collected 98 random samples from the resort on January 12, of which 19 samples tested positive. Furthermore, eight more individuals exhibiting symptoms also tested positive on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases found in the resort to 32.

At present, Maldives records a total of 14,277 virus cases of which 783 are active cases, in addition to 13,438 recoveries and 49 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.

Throughout October, November and December the numbers had slipped further down below 50, with a few spikes on rare occasions, including the recent spikes as a result of four new virus clusters.

Within this same period, the number of recoveries saw a significant increase, bringing the number of recovered cases to over 94 percent.

HPA recently eased several safety measures imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. These leniencies include the cancellation of the city-wide curfew over the greater Male’ region, the reduction of quarantine periods to 10 days as well as cancelling mandatory quarantine for locals returning to Maldives and for locals travelling to resorts.

Despite the sustained decrease in virus cases, the agency 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”.

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 92.1 million people and claimed over 1.9 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 65.9 million people have recovered.