Maldives Correctional Service (MCS), on Monday, revealed that Hulhumale' Jail was placed under monitoring after an inmate tested positive for COVID-19.
MCS disclosed that the 56-year-old inmate was transferred to an isolation facility after being confirmed to have the virus.
Despite not providing any information on the probable causes of the virus spreading within the detention facility, MCS stated that contact tracing efforts were currently underway.
As per the joint statement released in 2020 by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), prisoners face higher vulnerability amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UN bodies have urged governments to focus on preventing large outbreaks of COVID-19 in detention centres while guaranteeing that all human rights are granted in such, irrespective of any state of emergency.
Furthermore, the statement emphasized that restrictions introduced must be necessary, evidence-informed, proportionate and non-arbitrary, while "the disruptive impact of such measures should be actively mitigated, such as through enhanced access to telephones or digital communications if visits are limited".
On Monday, Maldives recorded more than 200 daily cases for the first time since August 2, 2020. The country recently recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases, which has been increasing throughout January, with several clusters found in capital Male’ as well as some southern islands and operational resorts.
At present, the island nation records a total of 16,056 virus cases of which 1,807 are active cases, in addition to 14,190 recoveries and 52 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 slipped further down below 50, with a few spikes on rare occasions.
This prompted HPA to ease certain several safety measures imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. These leniencies included 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.
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 1 billion people and claimed over 2.2 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 75.7 million people have recovered.