Health Protection Agency HPA has tightened the restrictive measures taken against the COVID-19 pandemic amid the dramatic rise of COVID-19 cases reported in the last three days in the Maldives.

In a notice signed by the Director-General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakur, HPA said that a curfew would be reimposed in Male' Area of Male', Villimale and Hulhumale'.

HPA said that the curfew would be imposed from 12:00 am to 04:00 am starting from 27th January 2021.

5-hour curfew imposed in the Greater Male' Area

HPA banned vehicular and pedestrian activities during this time but singled out several exemptions from the curfew. This includes MNDF, Police personal as well as health care professionals, those working for Health Emergency Operations Center HEOC, and others who might have an emergency that requires medical attention during the curfew hours.

HPA also exempted those going to the mosque for fajr prayers from the curfew.

The Agency has banned weddings, ceremonies, and functions in the Greater Male' Area immediately. This comes after a huge cluster emerged from a local wedding that had about 120 guests.

Meanwhile, HPA said in its late-night notice that all those who travel from the Greater Male' Area to the islands must be quarantined for the mandatory period.

A rapid response team member takes sample from a tourist

It added that those arriving in the Maldives from Friday onwards must also complete a 10-day quarantine and that tourists are exempted from such a travel quarantine. HPA had eased the quarantine rule for locals and visa holders traveling to the Maldives sometime last month and had instructed that such travelers need not quarantine if they present a 90-hr-old negative COVID test upon arrival to the country.

The Agency tightened the restrictive measures after a dramatic rise of COVID-19 cases in the country in the last three days with more than 300 new cases reported within that time period.

Yesterday, was a record-breaking day for COVID-19 cases so far this year with 145 new cases confirmed in the country on Tuesday.

HPA had said that this includes 93 new cases from the Male' Area, 14 from inhabited islands, 36 from operations resorts, and 2 new cases from liveaboards.

This takes the total number of COVID-19 cases to 15,247 with 1273 active cases of COVID-19 currently in the country.