The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that a date on which the quarantine and lockdown measures can be relieved cannot be forecast at this time.
Authorities recently brought changes to several measures that are in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, including changes to business hours and curfew hours. Contact sport events, and gatherings of upto fifteen people are now allowed. However, those traveling from Male’ to other islands will still need to complete a 14-day quarantine.
While the year end holidays are around the corner, a large number of people have been requesting HEOC to make arrangements such that those in Male’ city can travel to the atolls in an easy manner. Male’ city, which has been the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Maldives for the past seven months have been under lockdown for six out of seven months. However, those in Male’ can now travel to islands on the condition that they complete a 14 day quarantine.
Speaking at a press conference held Sunday night, HEOC’s Spokesperson, Dr. Fathmath Nazla Rafeeq said it is not safe for someone in a location with community transmission to travel to other regions without quarantining themselves. Therefore, while community transmissions are still active in Male’, it is unclear when the quarantine measures can be lifted, said Dr. Nazla. The reason why the situation in the atolls have not become dire is most likely due to the quarantine rules, said Dr. Nazla.
Dr. Nazla said any changes to quarantine measures will be brought only after assessing the data collected at flu clinics and the positive rate of random samples. If the number of independent cases decrease at a desirable rate, it is a sign that the spread of the disease is coming under control, she added.