MALDIVES NEWS

In Maldives:COVID-19: 109 new infections; 2,575 people vaccinated

People wear masks as they walk along a street in Male' City on February 4, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

MALE, Feb. 6, 2021: Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Saturday, announced 109 additional cases of the new coronavirus, increasing confirmed coronavirus cases in Maldives to 16,656. According to HPA, the 109 new cases include; 78 cases from the greater Male’ region, 11 cases from residential islands outside Male’, and 20 cases from operational resorts. Meanwhile, 84 additional coronavirus patients were confirmed to have made full recoveries over the last 24 hours, increasing total recoveries to 14,556.

With the new developments, Maldives now has 2,039 active cases. There are 207 patients in hospitals. 430,513 samples (including repeated samples) have been tested for the new coronavirus to date. With the 109 new infections this Saturday, 920 people have tested positive over the last one-week period.

February 6: 109 cases

February 5: 137 cases

February 4: 134 cases

February 3: 121 cases

February 2: 99 cases

February 1: 215 cases

January 31: 105 cases

Maldives identified its first coronavirus case on March 7, and declared a state of public health emergency over the pandemic less than a week later on March 12. While coronavirus cases had initially been restricted to resorts and safaris, and later quarantine facilities holding inbound travelers, Male’ City identified its first coronavirus case on April 15, prompting a city-wide lockdown. The populous capital quickly emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, contributing to the majority of total cases. 54 coronavirus patients have died from complications.

VACCINE DRIVE

Maldives began mass vaccinations against the new coronavirus on February 1. HPA states 2,575 people were vaccinated on Saturday. Of the 2,575 people vaccinated on Saturday, 2,015 were from the greater Male’ region while 560 were from the atolls. Total 6,854 people have now been inoculated under program; 5,588 from the greater Male’ region and 1,266 from the atolls. Maldives received a donation of 100,000 doses of the Covishield developed AstraZeneca and Oxford in January and has ordered 700,000 more doses of the same vaccine – which they expect to receive in March. Meanwhile, China also donated 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine – which have yet to arrive in Maldives. The donation follows 5,000 doses of the same vaccine donated by well-wishers from China. Maldives also expects to receive the first shipment of vaccines from World Health Organization (WHO) this February.

Parliament to reconvene for extraordinary sitting on Jan. 13, 2021

National Assembly of Maldives.

MALE, Jan 7, 2021: The Parliament is scheduled to reconvene for an extraordinary sitting outside of regular sessions on Wednesday, January 13. The extraordinary sitting is being held to commence work on revisions to the Special Provisions Act on Local Council Elections 2020 in order to expedite the postponed Local Council Elections. The sitting is scheduled to begin at 08:30 am on January 13, 2021.

The agenda for the sitting is the first reading of the Bill on Revision of Special Provisions Act on Local Council Elections 2020, which Hulhumale’ MP Ali Niyaz submitted to the Parliament earlier this Thursday. Ali Niyaz told Sun that key revisions to the Act are designed to enable for the elections to be held even if the state of public health emergency remains in effect, enable for legally mandates time frames for elections preparations – including deadlines for voter registration and finalization of voters’ list - to be shortened.

Another key revision will authorize the Elections Commission to set an election date. Local Council Elections was originally scheduled to be help in April 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elections Commission later attempted to hold the postponed elections on March 6, but the attempt fell through following the recent extension to the state of public health emergency until February 3. Elections Commission’s chairman Ahmed Shareef recently announced that the commission now hopes to have the necessary legislative revisions pushed through this January and hold the elections on April 3. SUN.MV