A Grade 1 teacher at Ghaazee School and a Grade 9 student at Jamaluddin School tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
According to the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC), 12 more teachers have been identified as contacts from the Ghaazee School case, while four students were identified from Jamaluddin so far.
The centre noted that further contract tracing efforts were underway. Jamaluddin School is located in the capital Male', and Ghaazee School in its reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.
The new cases came to light just an hour after HEOC announced that four students at Billabong High International School also tested positive for the coronavirus.
Last Wednesday, HEOC confirmed that a teacher at Aminiya School in Male' tested positive for the virus, just three days after schools resumed sessions. Although a number of other Aminiya staff were subsequently quarantined, HEOC noted that they came into contact with the teacher outside of school and thus, no students were expected to be contacts.
After long periods of closure and online classes, Maldives kicked off its academic year on January 10, 2021. Minister of Education Aishath Ali had urged parents to send their children to school, asserting that the preventive measures in place would prevent outbreaks in schools.
However, with the new cases detected from schools in less than a week after the reopening, it remains to be seen whether authorities would establish more stringent measures or close schools again.
At present, Maldives records a total of 14,375 virus cases of which 845 are active cases, in addition to 13,474 recoveries and 49 deaths.