HPA instructed to make arrangements in preparation of a lockdown

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is preparing for a situation in which the Maldives may have to go into a lockdown amid surging COVID-19 cases.

Speaking at a press conference held Tuesday night, government Spokesperson Mohamed Mabrook Azeez said police enforcement of precautionary measures will be strengthened by increasing the number of personnel patrolling the streets. Furthermore, HPA has been instructed to make arrangements in preparation of a lockdown, and the preparations are underway, said Mabrook.

Although the government has confirmed that a situation that calls for a lockdown may arise, the spokesperson did not comment on the government's plans regarding one.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Wednesday imposed additional restrictions in Male' due to the surging number pf positive cases in the capital.

In this regard, HPA increased the duration of the current seven-hour curfew in place in Male' to 12 hours to be in effect from 04:00 pm to 04:00 am for one week. The change will come into effect on May 12.

Additional restrictions include banning dine-in customers at restaurants and cafes' and allowing only delivery and takeaway services. Businesses that do not comply with the guidelines will be closed for 24 hours. Congregational prayers at mosques will also be stopped. Starting 13th May, tourist visas for tourists traveling from South Asian countries will be temporarily halted.

While the Maldives has reported 38,520 cases of COVID-19, over 1,501 cases were reported over the past 24 hours. While 11,629 cases are active, 247 people are hospitalized. 87 deaths have been recorded in the Maldives.