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Maldives tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cases, deaths climb

Maldives tightens restrictions as COVID-19 cases, deaths climb

The authorities of the Maldives, the Indian Ocean nation, reported on a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths linked to the virus. The island nation had to impose additional curbs on movement this week to slow the pace of infections.

Mohamed Mabrook Azeez, a spokesman for the Maldives President’s office, has confirmed that the additional health restrictions will be introduced from May 26. One of those measures is lengthening the curfew period, which runs from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m.

«The initial restrictions have had an impact on the curve,” the official said on Monday. «We feel that more measures are needed to further slow down the number of positive cases.”

As of Sunday, the Maldives confirmed 1,559 new cases with 1,135 in the Greater Male area, which includes the capital. The death toll reached 134 on Monday morning, according to data by the Health Protection department.

For the Maldives, a territory, which is heavily relying on tourism, the pandemic means total lockdown. In the tourism-dependent economy, 97% of resort employees have received a first vaccine dose and 56% are fully inoculated. Of all tourism arrivals, less than 0.2% were positive, Mr Azeez said.