The Maldives Faces a Twin Threat: COVID-19 and Rising Extremism

The Maldives Faces a Twin Threat: COVID-19 and Rising Extremism
A man walks past a wall showing posters of political figures in Male, Maldives, Sept. 21, 2018 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

ADDU, Maldives—Visitors are slowly returning to the famous beach resorts of this island nation in the Indian Ocean after it reopened its borders last month, having largely contained its initial wave of COVID-19. While it failed to avoid the virus entirely, the Maldives has registered a relatively small caseload of around 5,300, including 21 deaths, confined largely to its crowded capital, Male. In recent days, however, community transmission across the atolls has increased at an alarming pace. Around a third of the country’s estimated 550,000-strong population live in Male, on one of the most densely populated islands on the planet, […]

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