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Lockdown extended, curfew hours shortened

Lamya Abdulla
15 June 2021, MVT 22:17
Dr. Nazal Rafeeq at a press conference: she spoke on the looser restrictions for the next two weeks in the Male' area -- Photo: President's Office
Lamya Abdulla
15 June 2021, MVT 22:17

The lockdown currently in place in the Greater Male' Area to control the rapid spread of COVID-19 has been extended by an additional two weeks. However, the curfew hours have been shortened.

In a press conference held by the President's Office, the Spokesperson for Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said they have decided to extend the lockdown since the situation is still not under control. Curfew hours, previously in place from four in the afternoon to eight in the morning, have been reduced to end at four in the morning. Additionally, people are now allowed to leave their homes between four and eight in the morning for exercise without a permit. This is allowed for one person at a time.

The lockdown was placed in Male' Area on May 26. This was extended by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on last Tuesday.

All other restrictions will be in place as before. People are still required to get permits when going out for essential reasons as well.

However, mosques in the Greater Male' Area will be reopened. Mass prayers are still not allowed, Dr. Nazla said.

Travel from Male' area to other islands will still be restricted as before, as well. Schools and government offices will also remain closed.

She said that even though the COVID-19 daily statistics appear to be low, they have decided to not loosen restrictions that much as it is not reflective of the current COVID-19 situation. She noted that both active surveillance and contact tracing were reduced when the COVID cases surged, as the healthcare system was overwhelmed. This will be restarted soon.

Dr. Nazla had noted unlinked cases had increased recently as well.

So far there has been 70,673 recorded cases of COVID-19 in Maldives. There are 8,703 active cases and 198 people have died from the pandemic.

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