Omicron: HPA urges public to adhere to guidelines

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has urged the public to adhere to protective measures following the emergence of Omicron in the Maldives.

The new, more transmissable variant of the COVID-19 virus was identified in the Maldives for the first time on Sunday. According to HPA, genomic sequencing showed that a sample taken from a tourist visiting the country was of the Omnicron variant.

A statement released by HPA on Monday said Omicron has an usually high number of mutations, and could be destructive. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also urged to beware of the new variant, the statement read.

HPA echoed WHO's advise and called on the public to continue adhering to the COVID-19 precautionary measures. This includes wearing masks and social distancing, consulting at a flu clinic if any symptoms are exhibited, cooperating with providing samples and getting vaccine and booster shots. The agency said another wave of the virus can be prevented if the public cooperates with HPA guidelines.