COVID-19: Kulhudhuffushi placed under three-day lockdown

COVID-19: Kulhudhuffushi placed under three-day lockdown

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Tuesday, announced that Kulhudhuffushi, Haa Dhaalu Atoll would be placed under lockdown for a period of three days effective from 1200 on April 21.

If no further extensions are made, the current restrictions will be lifted at 1200 hours, April 24.

Kulhudhuffushi City Council President Abdul Latheef Hassan stated that the COVID-19 taskforce on the island finalised the decision to implement a 72-hour lockdown in connection to a case of COVID-19 in Uligan, Haa Alif Atoll.

Uligan is currently under monitoring for additional contact screening until further notice, along with Haa Alif Atoll's Thuraakunu, Ihavandhoo, Thakandhoo, Hoarafushi, and two islands in Haa Dhaalu Atoll including Hirimaradhoo and Vaikaradhoo. Unauthorized entry and exit to and from these local islands is completely prohibited.

According to the council president, departure and entry to Kulhudhuffushi during the lockdown period will only be allowed for essential purposes. He elaborated that Thalassemia patients and individuals requiring dialysis treatment will be permitted to travel to and from Kulhudhuffushi despite lockdown measures.

However, Abdul Latheef stated that crew members on vessels transporting essential cargo to Kulhudhuffushi would not be permitted to disembark on the island.

Furthermore, all shops, retail outlets and service providers will be closed during the 72-hour period. The majority of services at Kulhudhuffushi regional hospital were also halted.

Abdul Latheef disclosed that the council would issue delivery permits to retail outlets as well as individuals that must leave their homes for essential purposes.

Maldives' first confirmed case of COVID-19 from the capital city of Male', was recorded on April 15, involving a local woman who presented to the flu clinic in Malé after developing coronavirus-like symptoms. However, the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC)'s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Monday, predicted that community spread of the virus began two to three weeks ago.

At present, the country has not identified an index patient for the outbreak.

As of now, Maldives records 69 confirmed and 53 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.4 million people and claimed over 170,400 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 646,800 people have recovered.