Health Society & Culture

Authorities fine 278 individuals for not wearing face masks in public

Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) revealed on Wednesday night that, till date, a total of 278 individuals were fined for going out in public without wearing face masks.

Speaking at a media briefing held by HEOC, the centre’s Spokesperson and Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq stated that 62 of these individuals were fined between 1800hrs on Tuesday to 1700hrs on Wednesday.

Authorities, on June 30, mandated wearing face masks in public spaces of the capital city of Male’ in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Later, the same day, HEOC revealed that individuals in public spaces without masks would be fined by MVR 1,000 starting from August 1.

Dr Nazla revealed that officers of Maldives Police Service are patrolling the streets of Greater Male’ region to ensure that the guidelines are properly implemented.

According to Dr Nazla, 1,356 individuals were advised during the past week for no wearing masks in public. She added that police was also advising individuals that step outside their homes during curfew from 2200hrs to 0500hrs.

“79 [individuals] were fined [for breaking curfew] within the last 24 hours”, she said during Wednesday night’s press briefing.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives’ capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

On August 6, the island nation recorded the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases confirmed per capita in the world.

The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita, after recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, indicates an alarming community spread in the country, with recovery numbers slipping in stark contrast to newly identified cases.

The recent spike reduced the total amount of recovered patients from peak 86 to 53.7 per cent.

Noting the economic repercussions of implementing lockdown measures again, authorities have continually requested the public to adhere to HPA’s safety guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus as life continues in the ‘new normal’.

The Maldives now records total 5,366 confirmed and 2,461 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,884 recoveries and 21 deaths.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 20.8 million people and claimed over 747,500 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 13.7 million people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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