COVID-19: 27 more test positive in Maldives

COVID-19: 27 more test positive in Maldives

Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed on Monday an additional 27 cases of COVID-19 in Maldives.

The new cases include nine locals and 18 Bangladeshi nationals, which brings the total number of infections among the Bangladeshi population in Maldives to 478.

With this development, Maldives now records total 862 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 829 active cases and 3 deaths. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since it recorded its first local transmission of the virus 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.

The country recorded its first COVID-19 related death, of an 83-year-old local female, on April 29. Since, two more individuals, a 33-year-old Bangladeshi man and a local 80-year-old man, have succumbed to COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.19 million people and claimed over 283,900 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.49 million people have recovered.