Maldives government repurposes abandoned resort as quarantine facility
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The Maldives may be one of the smallest countries in Asia, but the government has taken a number of steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treat locals and tourists who have contracted the novel coronavirus.
A number of island resorts have allocated resources and rooms as quarantine facilities, and there is a government contact assigned to each of the 10 resort locations. According to a tweet from Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, the country now has 1,158 rooms (2,288 beds) available for those being quarantined.
Among the quarantine facilities is a repurposed resort on Villivaru in the Kaafu Atoll. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the island was home to a popular luxury resort, but the property has been abandoned for years. According to the South China Morning Post, the renovation of the property was completed in just 10 days by a crew of about 50 workers. The quarantine facility has 30 air-conditioned rooms outfitted with a flat-screen TV and fully stocked minibar.
— Dhiraagu (@Dhiraagu) March 18, 2020
Quarantine at a beautiful resort may sound inviting, but no visitors are allowed and movement around the resorts is restricted. Individuals won’t be going for long walks on the beach or snorkelling in the blue waters.
Despite having 13 confirmed cases at the time of writing, the Maldives government hasn’t completely closed off tourism to the islands. Many resorts have restricted reservations, and passengers with travel history to certain regions (including Iran, South Korea, mainland China, Italy, Spain and more) within the last 14 days will not be permitted entry into the country.
Furthermore, all Maldivians entering into the country are subject to a 14-day quarantine at one of the designated facilities. Tourists are not subject to this measure.
As global concern continues to grow regarding COVID-19, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see more quarantine facilities be designated and more restrictions on tourism and travel.