The most recent mass inspection of places providing public services in the Greater Male' Area conducted by Health Protection Agency (HPA) has concluded with 37 businesses issued red notices for failing to comply with health and safety regulations as set forth in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking at the a press conference held by the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC), Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Economic Development Hussain Zameer confirmed that 568 places providing public services had been inspected from the Greater Male' Area in the latest round of mass inspections. He added that 198 locations selling food and beverages, 12 gyms and fitness centers, four markets, 10 saloons and 344 shops had been cleared in the mass inspections conducted in Male', across seven designated regions.
Deputy Minister Zameer announced that while multiple such inspections had been carried out by authorities in recent months to ensure that places frequented by the public were operating in accordance to new normal health and safety guidelines, they had noted that a lack of compliance that were placing people at risk. However, he highlighted that many parties had been supportive of the inspection efforts, and that they had expressed an interest in accommodating the new normal health and safety regulations in order to provide greater security for those seeking their services.
During the press, Deputy Minister Zameer went on to detail the outcome of the latest mass inspection efforts conducted across the Male' area, including action taken by authorities towards those who were found in noncompliance to the health and safety regulations set forth by authorities to prevent the spread of Covid-19. He highlighted that 243 businesses had been issued stickers which proved that they were operating in accordance to new normal guidelines, and that 288 places had been issued white notices under the first inspection with details on how to bring changes to their operations to be in adherence to current regulations.
Deputy Minister Zameer also revealed that 37 places providing public services in the Male' area had been issued red notices following their failure to respond accordingly to white notices issued earlier. Thus far, no businesses have been levied with fines in the most recent round of mass inspections conducted,
According to the HPA's policies, first time fines to be levied against those who fail to follow new normal regulations will be set at MVR 5,000. Those found in violation of regulations for a second time will be fined with MVR 25,000, with fines increasing to MVR 50,000 and MVR 75,000 for third and fourth strikes.
The fourth round of mass inspections conducted in October last year to ensure places providing public services were operating in accordance to new normal regulations had ended with over 3,000 locations inspected. At the time, over a hundred locations had bene closed temporarily for failure to follow Covid-19 health and safety regulations.
The HEOC has noted that mass inspections in the Male' area play a critical role in securing the health of members of the public and in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Mass inspections gauge whether places providing public services have accommodated social distancing measures, how many people are provided services at any given time, and whether or not mandatory masking and hand hygiene is being observed and encouraged at the location.