Health Protection Agency HPA has imposed a 12-hour vehicle ban in Male' after the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the country continues to rise.

In a tweet, HPA said that effective today a vehicle ban will be imposed within Greater Male’ area.

It said that the vehicle ban is set in place from 06:00 pm to 06:00 am every day to help flatten the curve and to stop the spread of COVID-19.

HPA urged all to strictly adhere to the safety measures in place.

This comes after the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the Maldives hit a staggering 17,387 yesterday. HPA said that 162 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 from the Male' Area on Thursday while 14 new cases were reported from inhabited islands. HPA also reported 10 new cases of the pandemic from operational resorts across the country yesterday.

HPA said that there are currently 2,243 active cases of the illness in the country and that 211 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized for further treatment.

It had also said that 15,081 people have now recovered from the illness in the Maldives.

HPA had confirmed that 56 people have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives including 49 Maldivians and 7 foreigners.

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases, especially in the Greater Male' Area, had prompted authorities to tighten the restrictive measures taken against the pandemic. This includes a general curfew from 11:00 to 04:30 am in the Greater Male' Area. Authorities have also made it mandatory to wear facemask in public in all inhabited islands of the country until further notice.

Southern parts of the country are now facing the brunt of the pandemic as all three major islands in the area are now under monitoring following an outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the area. This includes Addu City, Fuvuamulah City, and Gaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo.