COVID-19: Govt to introduce three hour curfew in Male' region

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has introduced stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives.

In this regard, a curfew has been declared in the Male' region inclusive of Male', Villimale' and Hulhumale' between 1700 to 2000 hrs effective from April 2, Thursday. During this time, people will not be allowed to be out and about and public transport will be suspended. Gatherings of more than three people have also been restricted for all other times.

However, the curfew does not apply to some government officers such as police, defence force, health care workers, utility employees, waste management service employees, employees of telecommunication service providers, ambulance drivers, employees of the bank, employees of State Trading Organization and vehicle with G-board and diplomatic missions' vehicles in addition to those who have a pass issued from National Emergency Operation Centre.

HPA has also restricted construction and shopping hours in the Male’ region. HPA said the shops in Male’, the suburbs Villimale’ and Hulhumale’ should remain closed between 2300 hrs to 0600 hrs. While most of the shops voluntarily close during those hours even now, few shops in Male’ region still operate during the mentioned hours. Fauthermore, construction work must not be carried out between 1700 to 0600 hrs.

Restrictions also apply to take-away services of cafes and restaurants in Male’ region between 1200 hrs to 0600 hrs. Currently, dine-in services of cafes and restaurants of Male’ area are banned.

The government has been taking stringent measures following the detection of COVID-19 in the Maldives. In that regard, the government has declared a public health emergency in the Maldives, and the issuance of on-arrival visas has been suspended. Schools and government offices have also been closed. Furthermore, while congregational prayers in mosques have been ceased temporarily, gyms, cinemas, and recreational facilities have been closed in the Male’ region.

The total number of people who have tested positive in the Maldives is now 18. This includes two Italians that have departed from the country. While 13 people, all foreigners, have recovered from the illness, the only active cases at the moment are that of three locals who returned to the archipelago from the United Kingdom.

Several countries have been declaring curfews in the face of the current global pandemic, and public gatherings have been restricted.