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HPA tightens restrictions on Male' city again amid virus surge

Mariyam Malsa
27 January 2021, MVT 11:38
Motorists seen on the Sinamale' Bridge in the capital city Male'. HPA has tightens restrictions on Male' City again amid a surge in virus cases. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
27 January 2021, MVT 11:38

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, tightened safety restrictions in the Greater Male' Region once again following an increase in the daily reported number of COVID-19 cases.

Effective from January 27 onwards, the agency implemented a curfew between 0000 to 0400 hrs and prohibited communal gatherings and events.

Additionally, HPA ordered individuals travelling out of the Male' region to observe a quarantine period of 10 days, effective immdiately.

All individuals excluding tourists that enter Maldives are mandated to remain in quarantine for a 10-day period, from January 29 onwards.

HPA initially imposed a city-wide curfew in the capital region during April 2020, in response to the beginning of communal spread in Male'. Following nine months during which the curfew hours were increased or decreased to reflect the COVID-19 situation, the restriction was completely removed on December 19.

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.

However, cases have been on the rise throughout January 2021, with active cases surpassing the 1,000-mark after months of recording three-digit numbers. New clusters were identified on operational resorts as well as several islands in the south.

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 2.1 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 72.8 million people have recovered.

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