The Health Protection Agency (HPA) placed 40 people in Hoadedhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, under quarantine after coming into direct contact with COVID-19 patients.
The agency placed Hoadedhoo under monitoring on Friday, after four individuals under home quarantine and two individuals with no known connection to other COVID-19 cases tested positive for the virus.
A total of 19 individuals were confirmed to have the virus after diagnostic tests were conducted on 30 direct contacts of the two unrelated cases, making Hoadedhoo the location with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Maldives.
At present, HPA is carrying out an investigation to judge the level of risk on the island as two unrelated cases were found.
The movement to and from the island of Madaveli, which is connected to Hoadedhoo via a causeway, was also prohibited due to the situation.
Speaking to local media outlet Mihaaru, Fathaathu Hassan, leader of the team sent from Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital to conduct contact tracing in Hoadedhoo, revealed that two individuals in Madaveli were placed under quarantine after coming into contact with COVID-19 patients.
In addition to collecting 167 samples from Hoadedhoo and 106 samples from Madaveli, authorities are also conducting random sampling to estimate the extent of community spread in the two islands.
The samples will be transported to the capital city of Male’ since facilities in Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll do not possess the capacity to process all of them. Results are expected to be confirmed within two days.
Fathaathu urged all residents of Hoadedhoo to adhere to official coronavirus safety guidelines, such as observing social distancing measures, wearing masks in public and only leaving the house for essential purposes.
He also requested all individuals to provide full cooperation to authorities and be forthcoming about any symptoms and contact history.
The Maldives currently records total 8,584 confirmed and 2,613 active COVID-19 cases, along with 5,936 recoveries and 29 deaths.
In addition to the Greater Male’ region, active virus cases are present in 35 inhabited islands as well as 22 resorts across the archipelago.
After recording significantly low numbers in the months of May and June, the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a ‘new normal’ with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male’ Region.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives’ capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.
Experts have described Maldives’ current situation as a “dire” one. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) announced that Maldives’ current alert level is at nine, noting that authorities may have to implement a second lockdown if the alert level hits 10.
On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 27.3 million people and claimed over 893,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 19.4 million people have recovered.
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Source URL: Google News