COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives
The COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus 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. 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. 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.
|COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives|
|First outbreak||Wuhan, China, via Italy|
|Index case||Kuredu Resort & Spa|
|Arrival date||7 March 2020|
(2 months and 3 weeks)
Cases in the country spiked after a cluster emerged in the country's migrant worker community's dense living quarters, mostly composed of Bangladeshi, Indian and Nepali migrant workers in May 2020. 572 foreigners have tested positive in the country with 416 Bangladeshi migrant workers have tested positive for the virus. The Maldivian government plans to relocate 3000 Bangladeshi foreign workers to other islands in order to enable social distancing.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
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. As of 19 March 2020, the Maldives has 13 positive cases and the lockdown status on Vilamendhoo and Bathala has been lifted.
On 27 March, the government announced the first confirmed case of a Maldivian citizen with COVID-19, and that person is from the UK. This brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 16; the other 15 were foreign citizens.
On 30 April, Maldivian authorities have reported their first death of coronavirus in the country, with the first victim being the 83-year-old woman that died en route to the hospital.
Restrictions on travel to the MaldivesEdit
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.
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.
|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|
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.
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 and India.
Details of the initial confirmed casesEdit
|Case||Date||Age||Gender||Nationality||Hospital admitted||Source of infection||Status||Notes||Source|
|1||7 March 2020||Not disclosed||Female||Turkish||Farukolhu Fushi Isolation Center||Italy||Recovered||First case in the Maldives. Italian tourist linked the local transmission||Ministry of Health|
|2||7 March 2020||Not disclosed||Male||South African||Farukolhu Fushi Isolation Center||Italy||Recovered||First case in the Maldives. Italian tourist linked the local transmission||Ministry of Health|
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