Officer stationed in Male’ Prison tests positive for coronavirus

Male' Prison. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Correctional Service, on Saturday, confirmed one of its employees has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Maldives Correctional Service identified the employee as an Emergency Support Group (ESG) officer stationed at the Male’ Prison.

The officer tested positive this Saturday.

Maldives Correctional Service said in a statement that the agency has implemented containment measures in accordance with its protocol, and is collaborating with Health Protection Agency (HPA) to conduct contact tracing.

The agency is also working with HPA to test other officers and detainees who may have been exposed to the virus.

The coronavirus case in Male’ Prison comes the same day as a court officer at the Criminal Court tested positive for coronavirus. It also comes three days after a member of the maintenance staff at the Parliament tested positive for the new coronavirus.

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.