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COVID-19: Maldives records 79 more cases, 24 recoveries

Shahudha Mohamed
20 January 2021, MVT 22:52
Tourists arriving at velana International Airport after the Maldivian government reopened the country's borders after a long period of closure in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
20 January 2021, MVT 22:52

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Wednesday, announced that 79 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Maldives, while 24 recovered from the disease.

According to the agency, 36 of the new cases were detected from the Greater Male' Region, while six cases were identified in inhabited islands, 35 cases in operational resorts, and two cases on liveaboards.

Maldives now records a total of 14,712 virus cases of which 1,017 are active cases, in addition to 13,639 recoveries and 49 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.

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 96.8 million people and claimed over 2 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 69.4 million people have recovered.

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