COVID-19: 13 more test positive in Maldives

COVID-19: 13 more test positive in Maldives

Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced Thursday afternoon that 13 more individuals were found positive for COVID-19 in Maldives

The new cases (MAV0956 - MAV0968) include eight locals and five Bangaldeshi nationals.

The total number of Bangladeshi expatriates that tested positive for the virus has surpassed 500. Roughly 67 percent of all confirmed cases in the country are foreigners.

Maldives now records a total of 968 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 922 active cases, four fatalities and a total of 40 recoveries. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since recording its first local transmission on April 15.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Their often small-spaced living conditions have been described by local and international civil society organizations as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".

Amid the pandemic, the government has mobilised efforts to transfer expatriate workers from cramped labour quarters to safer environments.

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.4 million people and claimed over 298,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.6 million people have recovered.