The Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) said on Tuesday that additional precautionary measures will be taken to control the spread of Covid-19 after observing hospitalization rates.

A communications officer at the center said he was closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation. They said further action will be taken after review of the hospitalization.

The Maldives is seeing an increase in Covid cases since the Omicron variant started to spread. More than 1,400 cases were recorded in a 24-hour period on Monday, leading the Maldives’ Covid alert system to adopt red alert. There are also over 6,000 active cases at this time.

Covid numbers in the Maldives peaked around July last year, when the then-dominant Delta variant was spreading rapidly. Cases requiring hospitalizations had by then exceeded more than 200.

The precautionary measures put in place then include tighter opening hours as well as the closure of government offices and a shift to working from home, with an additional curfew as well.

Three people have died of Covid-19 so far this year. Three people had also died in the first 18 days of January 2021.

Even though the Omicron variant is highly contagious, the number of hospitalized patients stands at 32. It is not yet known how many people are in critical condition.

As the number of cases rises, the Maldives has tightened travel restrictions, making negative PCR results mandatory for travel outside of Male. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has also banned gatherings with more than 50 guests at this time.