BFF-29 Maldives reports first coronavirus cases

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ZCZC

BFF-29

HEALTH-VIRUS-MALDIVES

Maldives reports first coronavirus cases

COLOMBO, March 7, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Two hotel employees tested positive for
the novel coronavirus at a luxury resort in the Maldives, the government said
Saturday marking the first cases reported in the upmarket holiday
destination.

The country’s health ministry said two unnamed foreign nationals working at
the deluxe Kuredu Island Resort, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) north of the
capital Male, tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials said the two men were checked after an Italian tourist who had
holidayed at their resort tested positive upon his return home.

The resort was on lockdown Saturday as local authorities moved to check
other staff and guests, officials said.

The Maldives had already suspended direct air links with China, the
epicentre of the virus. Male has also stopped direct flights from Iran and
Italy, two of the worst-hit countries apart from China.

The World Health Organisation has called the spread “deeply concerning” as
a wave of countries, the Maldives among them, reported their first cases of
the disease — which has killed more than 3,500 people and infected more than
100,000 across 94 nations and territories.

BSS/AFP/FI/ 2326 hrs