State of public health emergency extended till end of this month

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem. (Photo/President's Office)

State of public health emergency declared in Maldives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended once again.

A declaration signed by Health Minister Ahmed Naseem, issued yesterday, read that it has been decided that the state of public health emergency will be extended till December 30.

It was cited that the state of public health emergency is being extended as threat of a severe nationwide outbreak remained prevalent, and that Maldives needed to implement special measures to mitigate the threat and ascertain the health and safety of the people – at the recommendation of Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru.

Maldives identified its first COVID-19 case on March 7, and declared a 30-day state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12.  This period has been extended each month, since then.

The Public Health Act grants the Health Minister the authority to declare a state of public health emergency either nationwide, or in select areas, if the Director General of Public Health, based on evidence, establishes there to a public health emergency in Maldives, and finds that it warrants special measures to solve or contain it, and counsels the Health Minister as such.   

The declaration of a state of public health emergency on March 12 had marked the first time for the provision on the Public Health Act to be invoked, since the Act’s enactment in 2012. 

At present, over 100 people are testing positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives every day. Although the number of persons testing positive from the Male’ region has decreased significantly, the number of persons testing positive from the atolls is alarmingly high.

In the last 24-hours, Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced 107 additional cases of COVID-19, increasing confirmed cases in Maldives to 91,650.      

According to HPA, the 107 new cases include; 24 cases from the greater Male’ region, 74 cases from residential islands outside Male’, and nine cases from operational resorts. 

Meanwhile, 27 additional COVID-19 patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24 hours, increasing total recoveries to 89,774.    

With the new developments, Maldives now has 1,613 active cases.      

There are 11 patients in hospitals.      

Maldives has recorded 250 COVID-19 deaths.