Strict action will be taken against those who violate lockdown: Police

Maldives Police have warned that strict action will be taken against those who violate the 24-hour lockdown imposed in the Male’ region due to COVID-19.

The strict lockdown was imposed after the first case of local transmission was detected in Male' city. In a news brief held on Wednesday, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ismail Naveen said even though not much action was taken against those who flouted the curfew imposed previously, strict measures will be taken against those who violate the 24-hour lockdown currently imposed on Male' city. Those who violate the lockdown will be charged a fine of MVR 1000, and will be quarantined at a designated facility for 14 days as a consequence of their action, said the police.

“This time, strict actions will be taken even if it means transporting them to quarantine facilities immediately. Those who come out from their homes will be quarantined for 14 days”, said Naveen.

Naveen further said the police will publicise a phone number to contact in case a person has to leave home for a necessary purpose. Special arrangements will be made for those who provide essential services such as water, and gas.

Special arrangement will be made for uniformed government officials who have to be on duty, said the police. The arrangements are currently being discussed with the relevant authorities. However, no employee can use office cards to be on the streets and only those who have received a special pass will be allowed outside during lockdown.

“This is not a test. Every organisation should think of working with fewer employees. Some organizations worked even previously with fewer employees. We have to adjust according to the situation”, said Naveen.

While entry and exit from Male' region also applies to vessels docked in Male', the vessels that have departed from the atolls to arrive in the Male’ can dock in Male’ only after receiving approval by contacting the designated number, said the police.

Following the detection of the first local transmission case in the Maldives, 54 people who had direct contact with the patient has been identified and isolated. 50 more people have been identified as secondary contacts and have been instructed to be self-quarantined at home. Two direct contacts have now been confirmed positive for the virus, bringing the total number of positive cases in the Maldives to 23.