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The Maldives government turned an abandoned island into a 'luxury' coronavirus quarantine facility

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/25/2020 Dominic-Madori Davis
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The Maldives has turned one of its former luxury resort islands into a quarantine facility, according to South China Morning Post. Patients will be treated on the island of Villivaru in the Kaafu Atoll, which is about 15 miles from the capital city. 

The resorts on the island of Villivaru were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, though they've been abandoned for years. A 2016 Medium post by Martin Blampied noted that the island can only be accessed by a private boat. 

SCMP reports that the quarantine facility was completed in 10 days by 50 workers. The renovated facility currently has 30 air-conditioned rooms, each of which includes room service meals, a fully stocked mini-bar, and a flat-screen TV. In addition, doctors will be taking care of those quarantined for free. No visitors are allowed on the island.

According to Maldives Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, the country now has 1,158 rooms with a total of 2,288 beds available for those who need to be quarantined amid the pandemic.

As of now, the Maldives only has 13 reported coronavirus cases, and tourism is not strictly banned. Those coming from certain countries, such as Spain, Italy, Iran, and mainland China, are restricted, while Maldivians re-entering the country are subject to a 14-day quarantine. Otherwise, tourists are not strictly banned. 

Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported that on March 7, the Kuredu Island Resort, one of the largest luxury resorts in the Maldives, had to go onlockdown for five days after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. Guests at the resort were subsequently quarantined. On March 12, some of the restrictions were lifted, and guests were allowed to leave the island after being screened by the Health Protection Agency.

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