On Saturday, November 7, health authorities announced that the nightly curfew effective in the Greater Male region, which includes the capital Malé, Vilimalé, Gulhifalhu, Thilafushi, and Hulhumalé, will be shortened to run between 00:01-04:00 (local time) effective immediately. Authorities also announced the easing of other measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The number of people allowed to gather in public has been increased to a maximum of 15 people. All residents of Male, Hulhumale, and Vilimale, traveling to other islands will be required to observe a 14-day quarantine period. Individuals traveling by sea or air are required to adhere to hygiene regulations and wear face masks at all times. Parks, libraries, and public spaces in the capital will be reopened, so long as hygiene regulations are observed. Businesses in the area may operate between 06:00 and 22:30. Schools will also be permitted to reopen. Outdoor sports and contact sports, excluding tournaments, will be permitted and can invite a maximum of 15 spectators. High-risk employees who had previously been asked to work from home are permitted to return to work at their place of employment, provided that mandatory health regulations are observed.
A nationwide state of public health emergency remains in place until at least December 5. Authorities continue to encourage public and private entities to allow employees to work from home. Establishments are required to ensure additional sanitization and hygiene measures, and to ensure social distancing is observed. Face masks remain mandatory in all enclosed and public spaces.
Authorities continue to advise Maldivian citizens against all nonessential international travel. Maldivian nationals and long-term residents are required to undergo 14-day self-isolation upon arrival. Inter-island ferry travel is only authorized for essential movements such as medical emergencies. All tourists and short-term visitors into the Maldives are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival taken no more than 96 hours prior to arriving. Authorities approved the reopening of some guesthouses on October 15 for tourists; foreign travelers must reserve accommodations at either one or a maximum of two different approved resorts. Travelers must stay in these locations for the entirety of their trips, unless visiting approved dining facilities and recreational venues. Travelers entering the country will not be required to quarantine but must complete an online health declaration via the Imuga portal within 24 hours of travel. Officials may modify regulations based on passenger's nationality and travel history.
As of Tuesday, November 10, there have been 12,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases and 40 associated fatalities in the Maldives. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
Copyright and Disclaimer