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5 Maldivians in custody for violating travel restrictions

Shahudha Mohamed
07 April 2020, MVT 11:50
An overwater villa of You and Me Maldives by Cocoon. Five Maldivians were taken under Police custody for travelling from the resort to Alifushi, Raa Atoll. PHOTO/COCOON
Shahudha Mohamed
07 April 2020, MVT 11:50

Maldives Police Service revealed early Tuesday that five Maldivians were taken into custody for violating the orders issued by the Director General of Public Health under the state of public health emergency announced on March 12.

According to the Police, the five local males traveled from You and Me by Cocoon Maldives resort to Alifushi, in Raa Atoll, on April 4. They were apprehended under a court order at 2350 hrs on Monday night.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) banned all travel between resorts and inhabited islands on March 14 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, travel between one resort and another are also prohibited, as well as travel between liveaboards and inhabited islands.

Until the government halted issuing on-arrival visas on March 27, resort workers have been at their place of work, and remained the most at-risk of contracting the virus.

Several resort workers are under arrest for travelling to other inhabited islands, with one having attempted a swim to Meedhoo, Seenu Atoll, from a neighbouring resort. Another resort staff threatened self-harm demanding to leave his place of employment and was placed under police custody for his own safety.

Revised HPA guidelines allow resort employees to leave 14 days after the last tourist has departed the island. In the event that the entry date of the last tourist to arrive exceeds 14 days, resort employees may leave the island if no positive, symptomatic or suspected COVID-19 cases were previously identified.

However, any employee who wishes to leave a resort where tourists are present must complete a 14-day quarantine period at the isolation area designated on the island. Staff members will only be allowed to depart the resort after being tested for COVID-19 and completing an exit screening process.

Presently, Maldives records 19 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 13 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions have been recorded.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1,347,470 people and claimed over 74,799 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 285,090 people have recovered.