Hithadhoo of Addu City has been placed under a full lockdown due to the severity of the COVID-19 situation in the ward.
Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar, in a press conference last night said that the authorities had been working on introducing easements after the situation in the city started to get better.
"However, in the last two days, things have not gone as we expected. Things have gotten worse. We are now at a point where we need additional measures," said Mayor Nizar.
Hithadhoo is the largest ward of Addu City, and is connected with the islands of Feydhoo, Maradhoo, and Maradhoo-Feydhoo, while Meedhoo and Hulhudhoo, collectively known as Hulhumeedhoo, are a separate island that also makes a part of the city.
In the press conference, Mayor Nizar further said that there was always a risk of community spread in the city and that the virus was spreading quickly among the expatriate population of the city. A total of 18 foreigners tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday while five tested positive yesterday.
"Regarding the situation, we are in a serious situation right now. We cannot control the virus without undertaking the necessary measures," said Mayor Nizar.
He noted that a lockdown was a difficult decision, which will have to be undertaken if the situation called for it. Mayor Nizar said that the positive cases confirmed yesterday were all from Hithadhoo, and that the other wards were doing fine for now.
He said that measures on Hithadhoo needed to be made strengthened and travel from Hithadhoo to other wards needed to be halted. Measures such as those imposed in the capital Male' City were needed, according to Mayor Nizar.
Under these measures on Hithadhoo, people are now no longer allowed to go outdoors without a permit, even during non-curfew hours.
"Unless it is of necessity, it is not permitted to go outside. It is not permitted to go anywhere without a permit," said Mayor Nizar, announcing the measures on Hithadhoo.
Just like Male' City, each household of Hithadhoo will be provided two permits to go outdoors, which will be divided into two sessions.
Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to provide delivery services until 21:00. Those attending work are also required to obtain a permit from the police.
Currently, Addu City has 82 active cases of COVID-19, 77 of them living in Hithadhoo. Maradhoo Feydhoo, Gan, and Meedhoo have no active cases. Mayor Nizar said that if no new cases are discovered from those wards, easements will be introduced soon in the coming days. There is just one case of hospitalization in the city. Two people have died in Addu City due to COVID-19. Addu Equatorial Hospital last stated that there were around 465 contacts in the island.