Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdulla revealed on Wednesday that a total of 830 individuals residing in islands, stranded in Malé due to COVID-19 lockdown measures, were currently in quarantine before being permitted to travel.
The minister made the announcement via a tweet, confirming that an additional 1,800 individuals who wish to return to their islands will be transferred to quarantine facilities before May 24.
A number of locals from various atolls across the archipelago found themselves stranded in the capital after the government implemented a city-wide lockdown after its first case of COVID-19 was reported on April 15.
Authorities have since begun issuing authorisation for those with pressing needs to leave Male’ and return to their home islands.
On May 12, the Local Government Authority (LGA) revealed that over 5,000 people had registered to leave the capital and return to their islands of residence.
According to new transport regulations, priority would be given to individuals who travelled to Male’ to seek medical assistance through the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) and its national health insurance scheme, Aasandha.
Prior to travel authorization, individuals are subject to a 14-day quarantine period. Onward travel to islands will only be permitted for individuals testing negative for COVID-19.
Government has designated seven resorts to quarantine people leaving the capital city; Hondaafushi Island Resort in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Filitheyo Island Resort in Faafu Atoll, Medhufushi Island Resort in Meemu Atoll, Sun Aqua Iru Veli in Dhaalu Atoll, Fushifaru Maldives in Lhaviyani Atoll, Furaveri Island Resort and Spa in Raa Atoll and Canareef Resort Maldives in Addu Atoll.
Maldivian authorities placed greater Male’ region under lockdown for 24 hours after a Maldivian national living in the capital tested positive for COVID-19 on April 15. Authorities have since continued to extend the lockdown, which is in effect until May 28, over a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since recording its first local transmission in Malé–one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Presently, Maldives records 1,186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1091 active cases. The country has reported four fatalities and a total of 91 recoveries till date.
WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 5 million people and claimed over 326,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.98 million people have recovered.
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