The Maldives confirmed 329 new cases of Covid-19 and 436 more recoveries from the infection as of sunset on Wednesday.

According to the latest figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), 1,743 samples were tested for the virus between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Wednesday. Of these, 350 were collected in the country’s congested capital.

The new cases confirmed as of sunset on Wednesday include 26 detected in the Greater Male region, 281 in residential islands outside the capital region and 14 in operational stations as well.

The location of the eight cases confirmed on Wednesday remains to be determined.

With this development, active cases of Covid-19 in the Maldives fell to 14,276 from 14,383 the previous day.

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Maldives had risen to 173,666 by sunset on Wednesday.

In addition, the public health authority revealed that the total number of confirmed recoveries across the archipelago has been increased to 159,080.

Three patients were discharged from hospital during the reporting period, with which hospital admissions currently stand at six.

The Maldives reported its first Covid-19 related death in April 2020. The total number of confirmed deaths in the island nation stands at 297.

The country has been in a state of health emergency for almost two years now, since March 12, 2020. The last extension is due to expire on March 30.

Although the Maldives kept the number of Covid-19 cases at low daily figures in the capital region towards the end of 2021, cases in the capital had increased at the start of the year. For this reason, HPA has reinforced security measures in the Greater Male region. However, the number of cases has decreased in recent days.

On February 22, HPA dissolved the regulation mandating PCR tests for those traveling to the islands from the capital, changing the guidelines published on January 9.

As such, HPA revealed that the changes include the dissolution of the regulation which required valid PCR test results 72 hours prior, when traveling to residential islands from the capital Male.

In addition, HPA revealed that the limit on the number of people allowed to participate in rallies and attend events as well as ceremonies in the capital has been revoked.

While HPA also banned spectators from attending sporting events in the capital due to an alarming spike in Covid-19 infections, it has since been revoked.

However, the public has been asked to continue to organize events and other similar activities in accordance with the recommendations and instructions in place for the safety of people.

PCR tests were made compulsory for travelers from the capital to the atolls in January, when the Maldives was plunged into a growing virus outbreak.

On March 7, the public health authority revealed that PCR tests for tourists staying in guesthouses will not be required before departure and PCR tests before arrival are also not required for tourists. passengers who have completed both doses of the Maldives Food and Drug Authority-approved Covid-19 vaccine, at least 14 days prior to arrival.

It has seen queues at PCR test centers overcrowded and congested with several people standing in line for hours to get their tests done.