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2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Maldives

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Maldives
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationMaldives
First outbreakWuhan, China, via Italy
Index caseKuredu Resort & Spa
Arrival date7 March 2020
(4 weeks)
Confirmed cases19
Recovered13
Deaths
0

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to the Maldives on 7 March 2020 from an Italian tourist who had returned to Italy after spending holidays in Kuredu Resort & Spa.[1] The Health Protection Agency of the Maldives confirmed two cases in the Maldives, both employees of the resort. Following this, the hotel was locked down with several tourists stranded on the island.[2] As of 11 March, the islands resorts of Kuredu, Vilamendhoo, Batalaa and Kuramathi island have also been placed under temporary quarantine. Schools have been closed as a precaution.[3]

Timeline

On 7 March, the Maldives confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19, who are foreign employees at Kuredhoo Island Resort. Both are believed to have caught the infection from an Italian tourist who has been tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Italy. On 9 March, the Maldives confirmed two other COVID-19 cases have been tested positive. They are both tourists. As of 29 March, there are 17 positive cases of COVID-19.

The Maldives declared a public health emergency over COVID-19 on 12 March.[4] As of 19 March 2020, the Maldives has 13 positive cases and the lockdown status on Vilamendhoo and Bathala has been lifted.[5]

On 27 March, the government announced the first confirmed case of a Maldivian citizen with COVID-19, a passenger who had returned from the United Kingdom. This brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 16; the other 15 were foreign citizens.[6]

Restrictions on travel to the Maldives

The government of the Maldives and the Tourism Ministry of the Maldives with the guidance of the Health Protection Agency of the Maldives (HPA) placed a temporary travel restriction for the following countries to control new cases.[7]

No passengers originating from, transiting to or with a travel history of said country/province is to be permitted into the Maldives. Maldivians and spouses of Maldivians who are foreign nationals will be allowed in but may be subject to quarantine measures.[citation needed]

Country Effective Date Source
China Active from 4 February 2020 Ministry of Health
Iran Active from 26 February 2020 Ministry of Health
South Korea (North and South Gyeongsang Provinces) Active from 3 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Italy Active from 8 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Bangladesh Active from 24 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Germany (Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg) Active from 15 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Spain (All provinces and regions) Active from 15 March 2020 Ministry of Health
France (Île-de-France and Grand Est) Active from 15 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Malaysia Active from 17 March 2020 Ministry of Health
United Kingdom Active from 19 March 2020 Ministry of Health
Sri Lanka Active from 21 March 2020 Ministry of Health

Clinics dedicated for COVID-19

Flu Clinic – Senahiya, Malé [8]

Those with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, or breathing difficulties but with no travel history within the last 14 days (Maldivians only).

  • National ID card is required.
  • Consultation is free of charge.

Open Every day: 09:00 – 22:00

Travel Clinic – Behind Male' Hiya 2, Malé [9]

Those with symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, or breathing difficulties and with a travel history within the last 14 days; and those living in the same room / home.

  • National ID card for Maldivians and passport for foreign nationals is required.
  • Consultation is free of charge.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Expat Clinic – Next to Maldives Autism Centre, Hulhumalé [10]

Expatriates living in Maldives and having symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, or breathing difficulties.

  • No identification document is required.
  • Consultation is free of charge.

Open on Saturday – Thursday: 10:00- 22:00

Open on Friday: 14:00 -2200

Quarantine facilities

The Maldivian government turned the resort island of Villivaru in the Kaafu Atoll into a quarantine facility, described as "the world's first coronavirus resort", where patients would enjoy a luxurious stay and free medical care.[11][12]

According to Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, the Maldives had 2,288 beds available for quarantine as of late March 2020.[12]

Impact

The Maldives' economy is dependent on tourism, which dropped severely due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic. Experts warned of an economic contraction and possible difficulties paying back foreign debt, especially to China.[13]

Details of the initial confirmed cases

Case Date Age Gender Nationality Hospital admitted Source of infection Status Notes Source
1 7 March 2020 Not disclosed Female Not disclosed Farukolhu Fushi Isolation Center Italy In hospital First case in Maldives. Italian tourist linked the local transmission Ministry of Health
2 7 March 2020 Not disclosed Male Not disclosed Farukolhu Fushi Isolation Center Italy In hospital First case in Maldives. Italian tourist linked the local transmission Ministry of Health

References

  1. ^ "Maldives confirms first two coronavirus cases; two resort islands locked down". The Economic Times. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ CNN, Tamara Hardingham-Gill. "Tourists being kept under coronavirus quarantine at luxury Maldives resort". CNN. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Coronavirus: Four Maldives resorts placed in lockdown". TTG. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Maldives declares public health emergency over COVID-19". TTG. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  5. ^ "CORONAVIRUS: MALDIVES LIFTS LOCKDOWN ON THREE RESORTS". TTG. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Maldives reports first domestic case of coronavirus, total tally rises to 16". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  7. ^ "COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATES". Ministry of Health. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Senahiya". Senahiya. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  9. ^ "4°10'14.9"N 73°30'44.7"E". 4°10'14.9"N 73°30'44.7"E. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Maldives builds coronavirus quarantine resort". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  12. ^ a b Davis, Dominic-Madori. "The Maldives government turned an abandoned island into a 'luxury' coronavirus quarantine facility". Business Insider. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Maldives converts luxury resorts to coronavirus quarantine centers". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
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