5,025 people fined, 276 arrested for violation of lockdown order

Police officers operate outside a quarantined residence in Male' City on April 15, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Police Service, on Sunday, announced it took 274 people into custody for violation of the lockdown order in effect in the Greater Male’ Region.

According to a press statement released by the police, 243 of the 274 arrests were made in Male’ City, while 30 arrest were made in suburban Hulhumale’ and three arrests were made in suburban Vilimale’.

It includes four arrests on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,025 people were fined for violation of the lockdown order. It includes 4,342 people fined from Male’ City, 583 people fined from Hulhumale’, and 100 people fined from Vilimale’.

107 people were fined on Sunday alone, including 94 people from Male’ City and 13 people from Hulhumale’.

The populous Maldivian capital has been under lockdown since April 15 – when it had identified its first case of the new coronavirus.

While cases of the new coronavirus has previously been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later inbound travelers in quarantine facilities, the emergence of virus cases in Male’ quickly made the city the epicenter of the virus outbreak in Maldives.

Since then, virus cases in Maldives have sharply risen from 20 to 1,313. 127 people have since recovered and four have died from complications.

Maldives, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, has also imposed a nationwide ban on all non-essential travel, closed schools and government offices, and has ordered a temporary ban on mass gatherings in mosques in residential islands which have confirmed virus cases.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, in an address to the Maldivian people on Wednesday, said that the government planned on easing restrictive measures once the current period of the lockdown on the capital expires, if the lockdown measures proved to be effective in pushing down virus numbers.

He also warned that easing of restrictive measures did not mean the end of the pandemic or the danger it posed.

The current lockdown period expires on May 28.