52 people fined for violation of mandatory mask rule

Health professionals operate outside a labor quarter under active surveillance in Male' City on May 22, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) announced that authorities on Monday fined 52 people for violation of an order issued by the Director General of Public Health making masks mandatory in public in the greater Male’ region.

In a press conference on Monday night, HEOC spokesperson and epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said that 272 people were issued warnings and 52 people were fined for violation of the mask order this Monday alone.

The Director General of Public Health has ordered that everyone in the greater Male’ region must wear masks covering their nose, mouth and jaw when outside their homes.

The only exemptions are:

  • Children under the age of two years
  • While exercising
  • Those who are unable to wear or take off masks without assistance

The mandatory mask order took effect on Saturday, and violation of the order carries a MVR 1,000 fine.

Nazla said that total 73 people have been fined and 645 people have warned for violation of the mandatory mask order since it took effect.

The decision to make masks mandatory in the greater Male’ region – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives – follows a surge in coronavirus cases with the relaxation of the lockdown in the capital.

Maldives now has 4,293 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 129 new cases recorded this Monday. 2,670 patients have since recovered, while 18 have died from complications.

127 of the new cases this Monday were identified from the greater Male’ region, while the remaining two were identified from the atolls.

The country now has 1,490 active cases. 92 of the coronavirus patients are hospitalized.