COVID-19: Fourth death from Dhuvaafaru, situation dire

A fourth COVID-19 death was reported from R. Dhuvaafaru island on Wednesday. This is the second COVID-19 death reported from the island since July 27.

According to the Health Protection Agency, a 52-year old Maldivian female local passed away while receiving treatment for COVID-19 at R. Dhuvaafaru Health Centre. Following her death, the residents of the island gathered to protest, accusing that the COVID-19 outbreak on the island is mismanaged and not handled properly. They described the most recent death as an act of negligence and accused that the deceased had not received treatment in time.

Senior Admin Officer of Dhuvaafaru Health Centre, Amir Ahmed told AVAS on Thursday that attempts are being made to control the spread of disease. However, the island's situation has not improved thus far, he said, noting that several people who are in home quarantine are testing positive and that a fair number of cases have been identified in people presenting themselves to the island's flu clinic. Although random samples were previously collected, samples are not being collected this way due to the large influx of cases coming from the flu clinics, he added. However, since there is no improvement in the island's situation, the outbreak can only be controlled by resuming collecting random samples, and therefore, the island is preparing to resume collecting random samples once again, said Amir.

Dhuvaafaru island has no means to test for COVID-19. The nearest test center is in R. Ungoofaaru. Most samples are usually sent to capital Male', and it usually takes 24 hours or longer to receive the results, said Amir.

Dhuvaafaru was put under the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s monitoring status on May 25. 145 cases are currently active on the island.