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30 Apr 2020 | 02:49 AM UTC

Maldives: Government extends 24-hour lockdown in Greater Male region until May 14 /update 8

Maldives News Alert

Maldivian government extends 24-hour lockdown in Greater Male region until May 14; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/29/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/14/2020, 11:59 PM (Indian/Maldives). COUNTRY/REGION Maldives

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Event

Maldivian authorities announced on Wednesday, April 29, that the 24-hour lockdown in the Greater Male region will be extended for a further 14 days from Thursday, April 30, to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The lockdown measures, which are set to expire on Thursday, May 14, will be in place in Male, Viligili, and Hulhumale. People are prohibited from leaving home by foot or vehicle; public transport between Male, Villingili, and Hulhumale has also been suspended. No individuals are allowed to enter or exit Male, Villingili, Hulhumale, Thilafushi, and Gulhifalhu. Emergency personnel, health professionals, and media-pass holders are exempt from the curfew.

On Friday, April 10, the Minister of Health announced the extension of the public health emergency until Thursday, April 30. The emergency was originally declared on March 12 following the World Health Organization's (WHO) classification of COVID-19 as a pandemic. Public spaces have been closed and travel to and from resorts on inhabited islands is suspended. All hotels are barred from taking on new bookings and resorts will close following the departure of guests. Schools have also been closed as a precautionary measure. As of Monday, March 20, all passenger vessels, including cruise ships, are prohibited from docking until further notice.

Maldivian authorities previously announced that travelers from or who have transited through Bangladesh, China (except for Hong Kong), Italy, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the UK in the past 14 days will be denied entry. The same measure applies to those who have traveled from or transited through the French regions of Île-de-France and Grand Est and the German states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Baden-Württemberg.

On Sunday, April 26, the Maldives recorded its highest increase of 73 COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day. In particular, the capital city of Male has recorded a significant increase the number of COVID-19 cases.As of April 29, there are at least 278 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one associated fatality. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantine measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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