Health Protection Agency (HPA) Tuesday announced, that starting Thursday, May 12, Tourist VISAs will be temporarily halted for South Asians,
As Maldives is facing one of the worst COVID waves since community spread within the country was discovered in April 2020, HPA has been strengthening the restrictive measures to curb the spread. On average, inclusive of backlog tests that HPA clears everyday, daily COVID statistics have been above 1,000.
Although some of the other restrictive measures announced on Tuesday had a time limit attached to it, the halting of the tourist VISAs did not specify for how long this would be in effect.
There has been a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in other South Asian countries as well, particularly in India.
CNN Philippines reported earlier on Tuesday that a variant of the coronavirus, first detected in India, has been found in the Philippines as well. The B.1617 variant was described as a double mutant and believed to be more transmissible by CNN.
Health care experts in Maldives also assume there is a new variant in Maldives, due to changes in the demographics affected, and how the virus attacks the inflicted person. However, it has not been confirmed yet.
The vaccination program initiated in February has so far given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 301,239 people in Maldives. Primarily, Maldives uses the COVISHIELD vaccine made in SERUM Institute in India and Sinopharm vaccine from China.