145 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Maldives on Tuesday, with health authorities reinstating a curfew for the Greater Male' Region along with a ban on public gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
Tuesday's 145 cases leave the nation's total Covid-19 tally at 15,247 with 3,882 samples tested for the infection between 6PM Monday and 6PM Tuesday. Health authorities have tested a total of 394,278 samples for Covid-19 thus far.
93 patients are currently receiving in-hospital care for the infection, which is six more than the previous day. 35 additional recoveries were reported between Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total number of recoveries observed for Covid-19 in the country up to 13,916.
51 people have died in the Maldives from Covid-19 related health complications.
There are 1,273 active cases of Covid-19 in the country.
14 of the 145 new cases reported on Tuesday were from inhabited islands, 36 from operational resorts and two from live-aboard vessels. A total of 93 positive cases were from the Greater Male' Area, prompting authorities to reintroduce restrictions due to the worrying trend of increasing cases being reported in the capital city.
With the increase in cases detected from the capital, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has once again announced a curfew for the Greater Male' Area, effective from midnight Tuesday between 12am and 4am, until further notice. Additionally, the public health authority has announced a ban on gatherings, parties and events in the capital city in a bid to limit community transmission of the Covid-19 infection.
The second curfew in the capital comes a little over a month after the first one was lifted, on December 19.
Those traveling to other islands from the Male' Area are still required to observe mandatory quarantine for a 10-day period as well. Starting from 29 January, all inbound travelers to the Maldives will be required to quarantine for 10-days, with the exception of those entering the country as tourists.
Further, HPA has revealed that voluntary sampling stations had been established in the Male' Area, and that members of the public could now voluntarily give samples for testing at any one of the two locations in light of the increased number of new cases being reported in the capital. The building behind Male' Hiya 2 and the Hulhumale' Flue Clinic have been designated as voluntary sampling stations for the general public, with the exception of those exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, those who are contacts of positive cases and those who are required to test for the infection before traveling abroad.
The Hulhumale' Flu Clininc will be open as a voluntary sampling station between 2pm and 5pm from Saturday through Thursday, with the station being active between 5pm and 8pm on Fridays. The building behind Male' Hiya 2 will be in effect as a voluntary sampling station between 5pm and 9pm on Fridays. The station will be active between 9am and 1pm, in addition to between 5pm and 9pm, on every other day of the week.
Additionally, Tuesday saw HPA release an advisory for all travelers who had departed from M. Kolhufushi to other islands after 5 January, to report their details to the authority through their hotline 1676. Further, those who had traveled from M. Kolhufushi after the designated period have been requested to quarantine for 14 days if 14 days have not already passed from the date of their departure from Kolhufushi island. Travelers are requested to remain in quarantine until they receive a negative test result for Covid-19.
Spokesperson for the Health Emergency Operations Center, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq, advices extra caution from members of the public in following health and safety protocols in place, including the newly reinstated curfew and travel restrictions.