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.[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]

COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationMaldives
First outbreakWuhan, China, via Italy
Index caseKuredu Resort & Spa
Arrival date7 March 2020
(2 months and 3 weeks)
Confirmed cases1395
Active cases1234
Recovered155
Deaths
4
Government website
covid19.health.gov.mv/dashboard/

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.[4] 572 foreigners have tested positive in the country with 416 Bangladeshi migrant workers have tested positive for the virus.[5] The Maldivian government plans to relocate 3000 Bangladeshi foreign workers to other islands in order to enable social distancing.[6]

BackgroundEdit

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.[7][8]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[9][10] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[11][9]

TimelineEdit

COVID-19 cases in Maldives  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-03-07
2(n.a.)
2020-03-08
4(+100%)
2020-03-09
6(+50%)
2020-03-10
8(+33%)
2020-03-11
8(=)
2020-03-12
8(=)
2020-03-13
10(+25%)
2020-03-14
11(+10%)
2020-03-15
13(+18%)
2020-03-16
13(=)
2020-03-17
13(=)
2020-03-18
13(=)
2020-03-19
13(=)
2020-03-20
13(=)
2020-03-21
13(=)
2020-03-22
13(=)
2020-03-23
13(=)
2020-03-24
13(=)
2020-03-25
13(=)
2020-03-26
13(=)
2020-03-27
16(+23%)
2020-03-28
17(+6.2%)
2020-03-29
17(=)
2020-03-30
17(=)
2020-03-31
18(+5.9%)
2020-04-01
19(+5.6%)
2020-04-02
19(=)
2020-04-03
19(=)
2020-04-04
19(=)
2020-04-05
19(=)
2020-04-06
19(=)
2020-04-07
19(=)
2020-04-08
19(=)
2020-04-09
19(=)
2020-04-10
19(=)
2020-04-11
20(+5.3%)
2020-04-12
20(=)
2020-04-13
20(=)
2020-04-14
20(=)
2020-04-15
23(+15%)
2020-04-16
25(+8.7%)
2020-04-17
31(+24%)
2020-04-18
35(+13%)
2020-04-19
60(+71%)
2020-04-20
79(+32%)
2020-04-21
85(+7.6%)
2020-04-22
94(+11%)
2020-04-23
113(+20%)
2020-04-24
132(+17%)
2020-04-25
177(+34%)
2020-04-26
214(+21%)
2020-04-27
229(+7%)
2020-04-28
250(+9.2%)
2020-04-29
289(+16%) 1(n.a.)
2020-04-30
468(+62%) 1(=)
2020-05-01
496(+6%) 1(=)
2020-05-02
524(+5.6%) 1(=)
2020-05-03
531(+1.3%) 1(=)
2020-05-04
551(+3.8%) 1(=)
2020-05-05
582(+5.6%) 2(+100%)
2020-05-06
634(+8.9%) 2(=)
2020-05-07
700(+10%) 3(+50%)
2020-05-08
745(+6.4%) 3(=)
2020-05-09
792(+6.3%) 3(=)
2020-05-10
861(+8.7%) 3(=)
2020-05-11
897(+4.2%) 3(=)
2020-05-12
955(+6.5%) 4(+33%)
2020-05-13
970(+1.6%) 4(=)
2020-05-14
982(+1.2%) 4(=)
2020-05-15
1,020(+3.9%) 4(=)
Source: covid19.health.gov.mv/dashboard/

March 2020Edit

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.[12] As of 19 March 2020, the Maldives has 13 positive cases and the lockdown status on Vilamendhoo and Bathala has been lifted.[13]

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.[14]

April 2020Edit

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.[15]

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.[16]

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

Quarantine facilitiesEdit

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.[17][18]

According to Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, the Maldives had 2,288 beds available for quarantine as of late March 2020.[18]

ImpactEdit

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.[19]

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Maldives confirms first two coronavirus cases; two resort islands locked down". The Economic Times. 8 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. ^ CNN, Tamara Hardingham-Gill. "Tourists being kept under coronavirus quarantine at luxury Maldives resort". CNN. Archived from the original on 10 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Coronavirus: Four Maldives resorts placed in lockdown". TTG. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Maldives Sees Rapid Spike in COVID-19 Patients".
  5. ^ "COVID-19 should be a wake up call to Maldives to treat its migrant workers better". 12 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Samples collected from migrant workers living in 30".
  7. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  10. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  11. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Maldives declares public health emergency over COVID-19". TTG. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  13. ^ "CORONAVIRUS: MALDIVES LIFTS LOCKDOWN ON THREE RESORTS". TTG. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Maldives reports first domestic case of coronavirus, total tally rises to 16". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Maldives Reports First Coronavirus Fatality". ANI News. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  16. ^ "COVID-19 LOCAL UPDATES". Ministry of Health. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Maldives builds coronavirus quarantine resort". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  18. ^ a b Davis, Dominic-Madori. "The Maldives government turned an abandoned island into a 'luxury' coronavirus quarantine facility". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Maldives converts luxury resorts to coronavirus quarantine centers". Nikkei Asian Review. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.