Maldives re-imposes strict measures in light of third virus wave

People wearing masks in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Maldives will be re-imposing a number of safety measures taken in light of COVID-19 as the nation braces for the brunt of a third wave of the virus. 

Case numbers have increased significantly in the nation with over 2,000 cases confirmed in January alone. In light of the developments, in a meeting of the government institution policy group today, a number of safety measures were put back in place. 

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) stated that a curfew will be imposed for two weeks on the Greater Male’ Area from 23:00 to 4:30 starting from tomorrow. Motorcycles and vehicles will also be banned from the streets of the capital during this period from 20:30 to 4:30. 

Residents of the capital will also be limited from visiting parks and public spaces in the capital for two weeks. However, residents will be permitted in these locations to exercise during the specified time by health authorities. 

Residents of all inhabited islands across the nation are also required to wear masks starting from tomorrow. Individuals traveling for necessary purposes from Male’ City to other islands of the nation are also required to present a negative PCR test of 72-hours. 

Mask wearing will also be imposed on all public vehicles and will be strictly enforced by the authorities. 

A road of Male' City near the Republic Square is photographed with vehicles of authorized personnel as the city undergoes a nation-wide lockdown. The city was placed under curfew due to the first case of COVID-19 from the city testing positive on April 15, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The HPA also specified that universities and colleges are to conduct sessions online for the next two weeks. Practical classes are to be conducted under safety measures. Pre-schools, nurseries, and daycare centers are also to be closed for the time being. 

Inspections are also to be carried out at restaurants and cafes in the capital to enforce safety guidelines and the government is also restarting the operations of the Farukolhufushi facility starting from tomorrow. 

Gyms are also to revise sessions to permit only solo sessions. This means that individuals carrying out solo exercises are to be permitted in gyms in accordance with the HPA guidelines. Government services are to be provided online starting from tomorrow.

The Maldives will also be focusing on vaccinations from now on as it attempts to overcome the surge of cases. The Maldives commenced vaccinations yesterday in its drive to inoculate the population. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih specified that the task could take around six months. 

The Maldives currently has 1,807 active cases of the virus with the total number of confirmed cases standing at 16,000 and above. Recovery numbers are currently at around 14,000.