The lockdown declared across the Greater Malé Region including the Maldives capital and its suburban districts Hulhumalé and Villimalé has been extended by a fortnight.
This was revealed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) via an announcement on Friday afternoon, as such, the statement reads that the lockdown was levied under the State of Public Health Emergency imposed under the Public Health Act of the Maldives.
The extension was declared under the powers granted to the Director General of Public Health, Maimoona Aboobakuru to a period of 14 days on Friday.
Under the declaration, movement on the roads including vehicles and pedestrians will be banned alongside public transport services. Further, it bans anyone from entering or leaving the Greater Malé Region, which includes Malé, Hulhumalé, Villimalé, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi.
The lockdown was initially imposed for a 24-hour period on Wednesday, after a Maldivian national tested positive for Covid-19 in the Maldives capital earlier on that day.
The lockdown was effective for a period of 24 hours from 03:30pm, Wednesday.
Since the first community-transmitted case emerged from a Maldivian with no travel history in the congested capital, a total of seven individuals have tested positive to the virus in Malé over the course of the past two days and authorities has assured that the lockdown will be extended if required. Since then, several houses in the capital have also been placed under monitoring.
Exceptions to the lockdown include:
- Police and MNDF officers
- Healthcare workers and their vehicles
- Permit holders from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC)
- Media professionals with permits from the NEOC
The people have been urged to cooperate with the authorities in their efforts to implement these orders.
Earlier, the authorities ordered to strengthen all the Covid-19 measures being implemented across inhabited islands.
This includes banning travel between all inhabited islands, however, local councils will be working with relevant authorities to ensure that residents have access to basic necessities.
With seven community-transmitted cases, the total number of cases have risen to 27.