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Maldives announces curfew in the Greater Malé Region

DIGEST-ENG-05-08-2020-Maldives

The government of Maldives has announced a seven-hour curfew in the Greater Malé Region.

The Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) made the announcement during the ongoing press conference.

As such, movement within the region comprising of capital Malé City, Hulhumalé and Villimalé, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu, has been restricted from 10 pm to 5 am.

The measure will be implemented from Tuesday and was introduced in an effort to contain and control the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the island nation.

HEOC Spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq revealed that individuals will not be allowed on the streets and operating vehicles is also banned during the curfew period.

Further, takeaway and delivery services will also be prohibited during the curfew hours.

Shops and businesses are to be closed at 9:30 pm.

In addition, the authority revealed that gatherings of more than five individuals will not be allowed in public spaces. Under the new measures, ceremonies and sports events such as training sessions are also to be prohibited.

The new measures also make the use of face masks during trips within islands, mandatory, said Dr. Nazla.

HEOC pushed the public to adhere to the guidelines provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) when travelling within the Greater Malé Region.

The curfew will be enforced from Tuesday and officers of the Maldives Police Service (MPS) will be active on the streets to enforce it.

Dr. Nazla stressed that it is of utmost importance to reduce Covid-19 cases in order to manage cases under the authorities’ operational capacity.

While Maldives Covid-19 case count has been increasing steadily over the past few days, the spike in cases will overwhelm the health system, greatly.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic surfaced in the Maldives on March 7, authorities had been implementing a number of measures as part of the response efforts and announced a three-hour curfew across the region in April. A community transmission was detection in the region on April 15 which provoked a full lockdown which remained for months before authorities began easing it in phases. The country is currently in phase three of lockdown easing.