200 Italian tourists to be evacuated from Maldives

Over 200 Italian tourists in the Maldives will be evacuated back to Italy sometime today, the Maldives government has revealed.

Government spokesperson for COVID-19, Mabrook Azeez during a press conference held Monday said arrangements are being made to evacuate the stranded tourists in the archipelago. As per discussions with the Italian government, an Alitalia flight has already arrived in the Maldives to fly back Italian tourists to their country, said Mabrook. Over 200 tourists will be travelling back on the flight.

The government has indefinitely suspended all flights arriving from Italy and has placed entry restrictions on all Italian tourists as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Italy is the most severely affected country in Europe.

The first two cases of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Maldives in Kuredu Island Resort after an Italian tourist who had recently holidayed at the island tested positive for the virus upon his return to Italy. Since then, 11 other cases have been confirmed in the Maldives, out of which nine infected patients are of Italian nationality. The remaining patients are from Germany, South Africa, Turkey and UK.