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COVID-19: Maldives records 51st death

Shahudha Mohamed
24 January 2021, MVT 21:00
Frontline workers at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) donning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
24 January 2021, MVT 21:00

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Sunday, announced the 51st COVID-19 related death in Maldives.

The deceased was a 86-year-old Maldivian male, who succumbed to the virus while undergoing treatment at the DH11 facility in capital Male'.

He was declared dead at 1627 hrs.

He is the 44th local to have succumbed to the virus in Maldives. The remaining fatalities consist of seven expatriates, including six Bangladeshi nationals and one Filipino citizen.

With this development, Maldives records a total of 14,885 virus cases of which 1,015 are active cases, in addition to 13,813 recoveries and 51 deaths.

Last 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 2020.

Throughout the rest of last year, numbers had slipped further down below 50, with a few spikes on rare occasions.

However, cases have been on the rise throughout January 2021, with active cases surpassing the 1,000-mark after months of recording three-digit numbers. New clusters were identified on operational resorts as well as several islands in the south.

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. Cinemas and movie theatres were opened up as well.

But 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, 2020, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 99.4 million people and claimed over 2.1 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 71.4 million people have recovered.

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