Authorities in the Maldives have closed down schools and government offices amid a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases in the country in the past few days.

Speaking at the latest press briefing held by the Health Emergency Operations Center HEOC, Presidential spokesperson Mohamed Mabrook said that physical classes for all grades would be stopped while online classes for the grades would resume.

He also said that ongoing O'level and A'level exams would continue as scheduled without a halt.

The stop-start schooling sessions for the grades have disrupted the academic year which is set to finish in June 2021.

Meanwhile, Mabrook also said that government offices would shut down and that government employees had been asked to work from home.

He said that this would be effective from 5th May till the 15th of May amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country in the last few weeks.

Health Protection Agency HPA had reported more than 1000 cases in the last 48 hours. Yesterday alone HPA reported 585 new cases with almost 400 cases reported from the Greater Male' Area.

HPA confirmed that there are more than 6000 active cases of COVID-19 in the country and that 174 COVID patients are currently hospitalized for further treatment. It had added that 5 of those patients are currently in the ICU.