Criminal Court staffer tests positive for coronavirus

Police officers stationed outside Criminal Court. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

A member of the staff of the Criminal Court has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Sun is able to confirm the person in question is a male employee who works as a legal officer. Health Protection Agency (HPA) has ordered all other staff members who had direct contact with the court officer to home quarantine.

While the Criminal Court had switched to virtual hearings with the emergence of the community spread in Male’ City, it had switched back to in-house hearings with the relaxation of the lockdown.

The Criminal Court has yet to announce what the positive results of the staff member means for the court’s hearings.

The coronavirus case at the Criminal Court comes after a member of the maintenance staff at the Parliament tested positive for the new coronavirus on Wednesday. It led to the decontamination of the Parliament’s offices, and the isolation of 29 more members of the staff identified through contact tracing.

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 capital quickly emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, contributing to over 90 percent of total cases.

Maldives has 2,150 confirmed coronavirus cases, out of which 1,769 patients have recovered and eight have died from complications.

Maldives began relaxing its lockdown following a drop in daily infections in the end of May.

With the beginning of phase two of the relaxation of the lockdown on the capital last week, residents of Male’ City and its suburbs Hulhumale’ and Vilimale’ are now allowed outside without a permit from 05:00 am to 10:00 pm.

It marks the first time for residents of the populous Maldivian capital to be allowed outside without a permit in two months.

Meanwhile, restrictive measures in all other islands, except for the capital have been lifted.