HPA shuts down 20 establishments over violating virus guidelines

HPA shuts down 20 establishments over violating virus guidelines

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) temporarily closed down 20 establishments on Tuesday over violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Under HPA's ongoing follow-up mass public health inspection, the agency inspected 146 establishments on August 4, to ensure the proper implementation of coronavirus safety guidelines and precautionary measures in cafés, restaurants, shops, gyms, fitness centres, salons and markets.

The establishments that were shut down include three cafés and restaurants, seven shops, eight salons and barber shops, and two gyms.

Establishments issued a ‘notice of closure’, may request re-inspection after having taken the recommended corrective action.

HPA launched its first mass inspection of service providers in early July to ascertain whether establishments held the required government permits, implemented proper social distancing measures and observed other safety protocols.

The results of the first inspection were less than optimal, with the majority of businesses and other establishments found to be operating in violation of the restrictive measures.

HPA's second operation comes amidst a resurgence of increasing COVID-19 cases in Maldives. After recording low numbers for several weeks in May and early June, the number of cases began to increase again after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region on July 1.

Presently, Maldives records total 4,446 confirmed and 1,719 active COVID-19 cases, along with 2,693 recoveries and 19 deaths.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 18.7 million people and claimed over 704,300 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 11.9 million people have recovered