COVID-19: Police instructed to conduct investigation to determine negligence

The Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem has instructed Maldives Police Service to initiate a criminal investigation after a large number of people alleged that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading in the Maldives due to the negligence of some parties.

Two expatriate employees of Kuredu Island Resort tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. It is believed they contracted the virus from an Italian tourist who had recently holidayed at the resort. The tourist had tested positive for the virus upon his return to Italy.

However, he had developed symptoms of the virus even during his stay at Kuredu Resort, and the resort had refrained from reporting the case, it has been alleged. The backlash intensified after the government on Monday revealed that the infected tourist had spent two days in capital Male' prior to his departure.

The tourist had been in contact with 15 individuals at Maagiri Hotel, where he stayed from March 1st to 2nd. While all of them have been isolated, they have not yet developed symptoms of the virus, the government said. However, a local employee at a ticketing agency had developed symptoms after having been in contact with the infected tourist. She has now been quarantined.

While two additional individuals have tested positive for the virus on Monday, the criminal investigation will identify those who were negligent in handling the case of the Italian tourist and allowed the virus to spread in the archipelago.

A total of six cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Maldives; four from Kuredu Island Resort and two from Sandies Bathala Island Resort. Both islands are on lockdown.