The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, announced its decision to conduct an inspection of all service providers in the capital city of Male' to ensure that COVID-19 related safety regulations are being followed.
Speaking at a press conference held by the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC), HPA Director Ahmed Nasir stated that the inspection, scheduled for July 12, would cover cafe's, restaurants, gyms, salons and markets.
According to Nasir, the inspection will be a joint effort by HPA, Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA), Male' City Council, the Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives Police Service, Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC), Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Waste Management Corporation (WAMCO).
During the inspection, authorities will ascertain whether establishments hold required government permits, implement proper social distancing measures and observe other safety protocols.
The HPA Director added that similar inspections would be carried out in islands located within other atolls.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, capital city Malé recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15. However, authorities have noted a sustained increase in the number of recoveries in recent weeks, with 82 percent of patients now recovered.
In response, the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. The lifting of protective measures allowed free movement without permits for residents of the capital while government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants reopened in July.
Maldives currently records a total of 2,491 confirmed and 361 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country has seen 2,113 recoveries and 12 deaths.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 11.9 million people and claimed over 546,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 6.8 million people have recovered.