COVID-19: 36 new infections, 8 recoveries

Rapid Response Teams (RRT) operate in the streets of Male' City to conduct COVID-19 tests. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Sunday, announced 36 additional cases of the new coronavirus, increasing confirmed coronavirus cases in Maldives to 2,966.

According to HPA, the 36 new cases are; 29 Maldivians, five Bangladeshis, and two Indians.

Meanwhile, 8 additional coronavirus patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24-hours, increasing total recoveries to 2,362 people.

The new developments mean Maldives now has 574 active cases.

There are 468 people in isolation facilities.

67,264 samples, including repeated samples, have been taken by health authorities to conduct coronavirus tests.

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.

42 percent of the 2,966 coronavirus cases in the country are Maldivians, while the remaining 58 percent are foreign nationals. 1,365 people – making for 46 percent of total coronavirus cases – are Bangladeshis. The rest of the coronavirus cases include 1,259 Maldivians, 245 Indians, 46 Nepalese, and 24 Sri Lankans and 11 Italians.

15 coronavirus patients have died from complications.

The beginning of July has seen further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions; mosques in the greater Male’ region have been reopened for congregational prayers for the first time in over three months, cafes and restaurants have been allowed to reopen for dine-in services, and government offices and courthouses have officially reopened.

While those who leave the greater Male’ region are still subject to mandatory quarantine, people from other residential islands are now allowed to enter the capital without special authorization.

The country’s borders, which were closed on March 27, reopened after more than three months on July 15.

With the 17 new infections this Sunday, 235 people have tested positive over the past one-week period.

July 19: 36 cases

July 18: 17 cases

July 17: 14 cases

July 16: 68 cases

July 15: 30 cases

July 14: 39 cases

July 13: 31 cases

300 coronavirus cases – making for a significant 30 percent – identified from July 8 to 14 have no link to existing clusters. Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) has warned the increase trend in unlinked cases indicate a wide community spread.

HEOC continues to urge the public to maintain social distancing and other preventive measures.