Police temporarily stop issuing business permits
The Ministry of Economic Development, on Friday, announced that Maldives Police Service would halt issuing permits to businesses selling essential goods in the capital city of Male' until May 28.
However, Maldives Ports Limited will have the authority to issue permits to businesses of its choosing to clear goods from the Male' port during the same period.
Following the implementation of a city-wide lockdown in response to the first confirmed instance of community spread, the police began issuing special permits to shops and outlets selling essential goods. Businesses with clearance are required to stricly follow several safety instructions.
The police have introduced new control measures to be implemented over the next two weeks as part of a wider effort to contain a possible surge of COVID-19 in Maldives.
On Friday, public access to the Sinamale Bridge was restricted from 0100 - 0900 hrs for a period of 14 days. The police also limited grocery permits issued for households in the capital to one per week.
Medical experts have warned of a possible COVID-19 surge in Maldives in the immediate future, and cautioned everyone to be vigilant, wary and adhere to safe practices.
Amid the ongoing state of public health emergency declared on March 12, the administration initially imposed the lockdown across the Greater Male' Region on April 15, after a Maldivian national living in the capital tested positive for COVID-19.
The lockdown has since been extended multiple times, with the latest development placing its deadline on May 28.
Maldives now records a total of 1,031 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 978 active cases, four fatalities and a total of 49 recoveries. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases the first case was recorded.
On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. At present, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.6 million people and claimed over 308,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.7 million people have recovered.