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HPA to fine establishments for repeated violations

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Sunday, announced the decision to impose fines on service providers in the Greater Male’ Region that repeatedly violate COVID-19 safety guidelines.

According to the agency, service providers that fail to adhere to safety protocols for a second time must remain closed for a three-day period and pay a fine of MVR 1,000. All subsequent violations will result in an MVR 1,000 fine, as well as a closure period of five days. Initial offences will only be penalised by the enforcement of a 48-hour closure.

HPA also revealed that it would jointly conduct the third mass inspection of service providers in the Greater Male’ region, with other state institutions, starting from August 25.

Following an initial inspection in July, HPA recently conducted the second mass inspection to ascertain whether establishments held required government permits, implemented proper social distancing measures and observed other safety protocols.

Cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, fitness centres, salons or markets found to be in violation of guidelines during the latest inspection were issued a ‘notice of closure’ and mandated to take corrective action before being permitted to reopen.

Despite recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a ‘new normal’ with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male’ Region. 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.

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 currently records a total of 6,660 confirmed and 2,521 active COVID-19 cases, along with 4,113 recoveries and 26 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 23.3 million people and claimed over 808,700 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 15.9 million people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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