MALE – Maldives authorities stemmed movement on several resort islands on Sunday after the country reported its first two cases of coronavirus.
Two staff of the Kuredu Island Resort, who tested positive for the virus on late Saturday, were believed to have caught the disease from an Italian tourist who subsequently tested positive upon returning to Italy.
The resort is located within the located the administrative region of Lhaviyani Atoll, which is about 140km north of capital Male.
The island has more than 1,400 people, split equally between guests and staff, the tourism ministry said. The two resort employees have since been placed under quarantined, said Ali Waheed, the tourism minister of the island nation.
Mr Waheed said that the period of temporary restrictions will be decided by the medical teams. The country has already identified people who were in contact with the two patients and placed them in self-isolation along with secondary contacts. The individuals will be monitored for a period of 14 days.
He said the country was still deciding whether tourists who were not in contact with the patients would be allowed to leave.
It has banned passengers originating from or who had transited through or spent any time in Italy in the preceding 14 days, effective from Sunday.
The Maldives Health Protection Agency (HPA) said on Sunday that it had introduced “temporary restrictive measures” on a second island after an Italian national developed symptoms at the Sandies resort on Bathala island. It was unclear how many people were on the island.
It added two French nationals on a third island who showed symptoms of the disease had tested negative, and restrictions on travel there had been lifted.