Students who return to Maldives from abroad will now be required to undergo quarantine.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) Friday said among those arriving to the Maldives from abroad, those enrolled at local schools, colleges and universities will need to complete home quarantine for ten days. They will be released from quarantine once a PCR test taken upon completion of the quarantine period shows a negative result, said HPA. The new measure will take effect from Monday.
Even now, those arriving in Maldives from abroad are required to have a negative PCR test taken less than 96 hours from time of departure.
HPA is strengthening precautionary measures against COVID-19 while a new, more transmissible strain of the virus is spreading in the United Kingdom. According to scientists, the new strain is upto 70 percent more transmissible than the original virus. The new variant has now been discovered in 21 countries.
Speaking at a press conference held by the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC), Dr. Nazla Mustafa from the centre said that there is a high chance that the new variant may reach Maldives. If the mutated virus reaches a country such as Maldives where the healthcare system is weak, the country will have to face huge challenges, said the doctor.
Local travelers and work visa holders who have been in the UK 14 days prior to their arrival in Maldives, and those who have spent at least 12 hours in transit at a UK airport are now required to complete a ten day quarantine period. PCR tests will be carried out between five to ten days from their date of arrival.