HPA strengthens measures due to increasing COVID-19 cases

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has said new COVID-19 guidelines would come into effect on Monday due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Maldives.

In an announcement, HPA said while the new variant of the COVID-19 virus, Omicron, has been identified in the Maldives, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Greater Male' Area is on the rise. Under efforts to minimize the spread of the virus, the agency will be implementing special measures from Monday onward, the announcement said.

Noting that the positivity rate in the Male' area is above five percent, HPA said events and ceremonies with over 50 people can no longer be held in the Male' area. Events with less than 50 people will only be allowed to be held if the agency's guidelines are followed during the course of the event.

Furthermore, night markets have been suspended, and spectators will not be allowed at sporting events. Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals will be required to present a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours when traveling locally. Those who are unvaccinated will be required to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival at their destination. Upon completion of quarantine, they will be required to undergo a PCR test and will be allowed to end quarantine upon receiving a negative result. This includes children below vaccination age who are traveling with unvaccinated individuals.

Domestic travelers are asked to update their PCR status in the COVID-safe portal, and those who require quarantine are asked to seek a permit through the Haalubelun Portal before embarking on their journey.

The Maldives has recorded 98,052 COVID-19 cases and 264 deaths. Over the past 24 hours, 384 cases were identified across the Maldives.