Night markets suspended due to increasing COVID-19 cases

The night market ongoing in Rasfannu area in capital Male' has been suspended on the instruction of the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

The Male' City Council has been issuing permits to hold night markets in Male' and reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'. Several night markets have been held over the past few weeks.

The City Council said HPA had instructed the council not to issue further permits to hold night markets in the city. Therefore, the council said that all similar activities would be suspended until further notice.

The night market ongoing in the Rasfannu area began on December 26, with over 200 vendors. Although the event organizer, Prism Holdings LMP, said COVID-19 safety measures would be practiced during the event, huge crowds have been gathering at the market with no social distancing and sometimes without masks.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has warned that health experts believe the upcoming three weeks will see the Maldives' COVID-19 situation worsen significantly. He urged the public to adhere to HPA guidelines.

The number of positive cases recorded in the Maldives has been above 200 over the past three days. Over the past 24 hours, 224 cases were recorded.