COVID-19: 143 new infections, 35 recoveries

People wear masks as they drive along a road in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Wednesday, announced 143 additional cases of the new coronavirus, increasing confirmed coronavirus cases in Maldives to 5,366.

According to HPA, the 143 new cases are 87 Maldivians, 40 Bangladeshis, 10 Indians, three Nepalese, two Sri Lankans, and one Egyptian.

140 cases were identified from the greater Male’ region, while the remaining three were identified from the atolls

Meanwhile, 35 additional coronavirus patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24-hours, increasing total recoveries to 2,884.

The new developments mean Maldives now has 2,461 active cases.

There are 1,507 patients in isolation facilities and 150 in hospitals.

91,903 samples, including repeated samples, have been taken by health authorities to conduct coronavirus tests.

With the 143 new infections this Wednesday, 772people have tested positive over the last one-week period.

August 12: 143 cases

August 11: 66 cases

August 10: 116 cases

August 9: 143 cases

August 8: 129 cases

August 7: 89 cases

August 6: 86 cases

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.

2,943 people – making for 54 percent of the 5,366 coronavirus cases in the country, are Maldivians, while the remaining 46 percent are foreign nationals. And 1,909 people – making for 35 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 357 Indians, 56 Nepalese, and 53 Sri Lankans, 11 Italians, eight Indonesians and six Filipinos.

21 coronavirus patients have died from complications. The latest fatality was recorded earlier this Wednesday.

Greater public movement following the relaxation of many of the coronavirus restriction in 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.

Following the surge, authorities have now declared masks mandatory in the greater Male’ region as well as all other residential islands with confirmed coronavirus cases. Authorities have announced a 10:00 pm to 05:00 am curfew in the capital, and a ban on all non-essential travel of persons from the capital to other residential islands.

According to HPA, coronavirus cases have been identified from 12 residential islands outside of the capital; H. A. Kelaa, H. A. Filladhoo, H. A. Ihavandhoo, H. Dh. Naavaidhoo, R. Hulhudhuffaaru, B. Kudarikilu, B. Kamadhoo, V. Fulidhoo, Lh. Hinnavaru, K. Maafushi, Addu City, and Fuvahmulah City.

Authorities have also urged that people in all residential islands, even those with no confirmed cases, wear masks when in public.