Narudhoo returns to normalcy after weeks in lockdown

Passenger boat, Amaaz, docked at the Sh. Narudhoo harbor. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

Health authorities have lifted the restrictions in Sh. Narudhoo, an island in northern Maldives which was quarantined in late April following the emergence of a community spread of the new coronavirus.

The coronavirus outbreak in Narudhoo has been traced back to the passenger boat Amaaz, which had travelled from Male’ City to Narudhoo on April 15, shortly before the capital had gone into lockdown following the identification of its first coronavirus case.

The first to test positive from Narudhoo was the captain of the boat, who presented to the island’s health center with flu symptoms. His sample was taken a few days later.

Soon after, two of the boat’s crew members, along with residents of their respective homes.

Total 11 people tested positive for the new coronavirus, while samples taken from 41 tested negative.

Amaaz had carried passengers to several islands in northern Maldives, all of which were quarantined in late April.

A street in Sh. Narudhoo lays vacant amid an outbreak of the new coronavirus in the island on May 17, 2020. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

While restrictive measures in place in the other islands had been lifted, the restrictions in Narudhoo had remained in place in light of the community spread.

With the decision to lift restrictions in Narudhoo, all islands connected to Amaaz boat have returned to normalcy.

All coronavirus cases in residential islands in the atolls have been traced back to Male’ City – which has emerged the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, contributing to over 90 percent of total cases.

Narudhoo, meanwhile, has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country outside of Male’ City.

Narudhoo has received donations from a number of well-wishers during the lockdown – including neighboring Funadhoo, which delivered food and other essential supplies to the island.

And Milandhoo MP Ali Riyaz, who is native to Narudhoo, sponsored the electricity bills of 87 houses in Narudhoo for the month of May.

Maldives has confirmed 1,672 coronavirus cases. 401 patients have since recovered, while five have died from complications.