COVID-19: 18 new infections, 46 new recoveries

Rapid Response Team officials take random samples for coronavirus testing in Male' City on June 5, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Saturday, confirmed 18 new cases of the new coronavirus, increasing total coronavirus cases in Maldives to 1,901.

According to HPA, the 18 new cases are 13 Maldivians, three Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Nepali.

HPA also announced 46 patients who contracted the disease were confirmed to have made full recoveries this Saturday, increasing total recoveries to 763.

It brings down active coronavirus cases in the country to 1,128.

Meanwhile, coronavirus related deaths in the country rose to eight this Saturday with the death of a 38-year-old Bangladeshi man who was brought in to the Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in critical condition. Half of the eight coronavirus related deaths in the country are Maldivians, and the other half are Bangladeshis.

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic four days later on March 11.

While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown and a nationwide ban on nonessential travel.

The populous Male’ City has since become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, contributing to over 90 percent of the total cases.

33 percent of the 1,901 coronavirus cases in the country are Maldivians, while the remaining 67 percent are foreign nationals. 1,021 people – making for 54 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 643 Maldivians, 191 Indians, 24 Nepalese, and 11 Italians.

Meanwhile, 1,201 people are in isolation facilities and 1,443 in quarantine facilities. Health authorities have taken 28,940 samples, including repeat samples, for coronavirus testing so far.

While the authorities has begun relaxing the Male’ lockdown in a bid to promote economic activity, health experts continue to warn people to wear masks, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene and maintain other infection-prevention measures.