COVID-19: 156 new infections, 6 recoveries

People wear masks as they wait in queue outside a shop in Male' City on June 16, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Saturday, announced 156 additional cases of the new coronavirus, increasing confirmed coronavirus cases in Maldives to 3,949.

According to HPA, the 156 new cases are 134 Maldivians, 20 Bangladeshis, one Indian and one Sri Lankan.

154 of the cases were identified from the greater Male’ region, while the remaining two were identified from the atolls.

It marks the biggest single-day spike of coronavirus cases to be recorded in Maldives, surpassing the 152 case spike recorded on Thursday.

Meanwhile, 6 additional coronavirus patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24-hours, increasing total recoveries to 2,613.

The new developments mean Maldives now has 1,305 active cases.

There are 815 patients in isolation facilities and 72 in hospitals.

79,817 samples, including repeated samples, have been taken by health authorities to conduct coronavirus tests.

With the 156 new infections this Saturday, 697 people have tested positive over the past one-week period.

August 1: 156 cases

July 31: 74 cases

July 30: 152 cases

July 29: 61 cases

July 28: 137 cases

July 27: 67 cases

July 26: 50 cases

There are 10 islands outside of the capital with active cases. They are:

  • H. A. Kelaa
  • H. A. Ihavanandhoo
  • B. Eydhafushi
  • B. Kamadhoo
  • B. Hithadhoo
  • B. Kanufushi (Seaside Finolhu Maldives)
  • Lh. Kurendhoo
  • Lh. Hinnavaru
  • K. Maafushi
  • V. Fulidhoo

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12.

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.

1,936 people – making for 49 percent of the 3,949 coronavirus cases in the country, are Maldivians, while the remaining 51 percent are foreign nationals. And 1,611 people – making for 40 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 287 Indians, 46 Nepalese, and 35 Sri Lankans, 11 Italians and five Filipinos.

16 coronavirus patients have died from complications.

Greater public movement following the relaxation of many of the coronavirus restriction this July has led to a surge in coronavirus cases. An increasing number of new coronavirus cases are unlinked to existing clusters, which health authorities warn indicates a wide community spread.

HPA initiated a mass inspection of cafés and restaurants, shops, gyms and fitness centers, salons and markets in the greater Male’ region last week to check for compliance with coronavirus safety guidelines, a follow-up to a mass inspection conducted earlier this July.

Meanwhile, wearing masks in public, which had previously been a recommendation, has now been declared mandatory for the greater Male' region.

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen at the Health Emergency Operations Coordination Committee meeting on August 1, 2020. (Photo/Health Ministry)

Health Minster Abdulla Ameen convened Health Emergency Operations Coordination Committee for a meeting earlier this Saturday, during which they discussed managing cases in light of the rise in infections, operational response at the atolls, and further containment measures.