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Police urge against protests violating HPA regulations

Mariyam Malsa
21 June 2020, MVT 11:26
A police officer questioning a pedestrian in Hulhumale during the lockdown. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
21 June 2020, MVT 11:26

Maldives Police Service, on Saturday, urged citizens to refrain from holding protests in violation of Health Protection Agency (HPA) regulations amid the ongoing state of public health emergency.

In a statement, the police stated that it had received information that certain groups were organizing protests in contravention with HPA's three-person limit on public gatherings during the second phase of easing lockdown measures.

The police called for the prioritisation of public interests and adherence to guidelines issued by HPA.

Left-wing political movement 'Navaanavai' recently announced plans to stage a protest on June 22 in order to demand that parliamentarians be held accountable over inadequate action to guarantee financial protection for the public amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

'Navaanavai' has not revealed further details concerning the set-up of the protest which will be held in front of the parliament building.

However, the movement's spokesperson Fathimath Saaira has advised all participants to observe best practices in health hygiene and wear masks during the protest.

Following the lockdown first declared on April 15, authorities commenced the phased easing of restrictions on May 28, with the second phase beginning on June 15. This allows movement without a permit for essential needs, businesses and delivery services, as well as other necessities within limitations as stated by the HPA.

While HPA has revealed plans to permit public gatherings of less than 10 people from July 1 onwards, gatherings of more than three people remain strictly prohibited at present.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15. However, the number of recoveries recorded daily are now consistently higher than newly confirmed cases.

Maldives presently records a total of 2,187 confirmed cases, out of which 389 are active cases of COVID-19. The country records 1,788 recoveries and eight fatalities so far.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 8.9 million people and claimed over 466,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 4.7 million people have recovered.

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