COVID-19 Daily Brief: 28th April

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The Maldives Minister of Health declared a State of Public Health Emergency, approved with accordance to the Director General of Public Health for a period of 30 days on 12 March 2020.

The period was extended till 30 April 2020 and the emergency was declared by the powers vested to Minister of Health under Section 33 of Public Health Act (Law Number 7/2012).

The decision for a public health emergency came due to the discovery of the first positive case of COVID-19 virus in Maldives; first discovered from a tourist property – Kuredu Island Resort.

Although the positive cases remain comparatively low and appeared relatively slow; situation in the island nation intensified with the discovery of the first case from Male’ City on 15 April 2020.

The Greater Male’ Region, inclusive of the Maldives Capital City went under a total lockdown for 24-hour duration; within the period 02 more positive cases were discovered and a large contact cluster was identified by health authorities.

State was forced to prolong the total lockdown by another 24-hours, after which mounting cases pushed the government to extend the period for a duration of 14-days.

Below are specified details and developments related to COVID-19, the behaviors, news and updates from economic sectors as well as significant state decisions and actions within the last 24-hour window.

Covid-19 Case Updates

As of 16:30hrs of Tuesday, 28 April the total number of cases reported within a 24-hour window by Health Protection Agency (HPA) reached 19.

Covid-19 Case Figures:

  • On Tuesday early hours; the first two cases were reported, reflected on the real-time dashboard on Ministry of Health.
  • Later the confirmed cases rose by 03 before HPA announced, around 15:15hrs the discovery of 16 additional cases
  • Total number of confirmed cases in Maldives: 245
  • Total number of recoveries made: 17
  • Total number of active cases: 228
  • Total number of hospitalization: 1
  • Total number in quarantine facilities: 1,210
  • Total number in isolation: 213

Case Demographics:

  • Females: 50 (20.41%)
  • Males: 195 (79.59%)

Nationalities:

  • Bangladesh: 115 (46.94%)
  • Maldives: 94 (38.37%)
  • India: 17 (6.94%)
  • Italy: 11 (4.49%)
  • Pakistan: 02 (0.82%)
  • Sri Lanka: 02 (0.82)
  • United Kingdom: 01 (0.41%)
  • Other: 03 (1.22%)

Economic News – Highlights

  • State Trading Organization (STO): 28 April – Managing Director Hussain Amr confirms delivery of 40,000 bags of staple food to various atolls within a 7-day period. Staple food stock inventory at islands followed up by STO via contacts with respective island councils; 58 islands reached.
  • Maldives Customs Service (MCS): 28 April – The authority confirm President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih exempting import duties on health protective gear which includes; goggles, protective gown, hazmat suits, surgeon’s cap, shoe covers.
  • Tourism Ministry, Maldives: 28 April – Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed confirms 187 travelers remain stranded in Maldives over travel restrictions imposed to control viral outbreak.
  • Dhiraagu: 28 April – The telecom provider announces new offers for Islamic holy month of Ramadan; ensuring connectivity for its customers amid lockdown and viral outbreak. New offers under Dhiraagu Postpaid, Prepaid and Zakat payment via DhiaarguPay.

Updates from Press Conference

The updates are extracted from the press briefing held at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) on Tuesday, 28 April – Afternoon;

  • Maldives Red Crescent: 95 individuals receive mental health assistance for serious mental health conditions. A Psycho-Social Support (PSS) hotline was established on 26 April; mental health support provided via a remote setup. A total of 1,468 with varying degrees of mental health issues received support so far.
  • Red Crescent PSS: service includes 46 volunteers; 266 trained under the PSS program. The support system allows 32 simultaneous calls and the average waiting time before call response is 13 seconds (under normal situations).
  • Dr Arif Mohamed – COVID-19 Task Force: Ensured medication for mental health issues will retain without insufficiency. Asserted difficulty in acquiring or procuring medication for mental health problems, adding discussion in place with State Trading Organization (STO) and Ministry of Health to ensure continuity in medical supply.

These are the current notable updates from Maldives; subject to developments since 00:00hrs of 28 April. More developments will be updated at 17:00hrs on 29 April 2020.

Editor’s Note: The data represented in the format of news, article or bulletin in this report are collected verified and official sources countering the viral pandemic, as well as news releases, media updates and critical data from government institutions. Follow this space for more developments; updated in every 24 hours.

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