'Schools will be closed based on number of cases': HEOC

Schools will be closed based on daily COVID-19 cases despite the current soaring numbers, the Spokesperson for the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC), Dr. Fathmath Nazla Rafeeq, has said.

School students are currently on their term break and are scheduled to return to school next Sunday. However, while the Maldives continue to record high numbers of COVID-19 cases, some have voiced concern whether resuming classes is in the best interest of students.

Speaking at a press conference held Tuesday, Nazla said no decisions had been made regarding resuming school sessions for the new term. Nazla said authorities aim to take measures to minimize the spread of the virus in such a way that schooling is not affected. However, she acknowledged that the number of cases increased significantly over the past two days.

'We will monitor the numbers from the next couple of days and will seek the Education Ministry's advice before reaching a decision. It is hard to say how this will move forward. If the situation changes this frequently, we will also have to apply changes more frequently,' Nazla said.

The Maldives has been recording high numbers of positive cases since the virus' new variant, Omicron was detected. The HEOC has warned that the variant will reach all corners of the Maldives. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has urged the public to adhere to the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s guidelines as the country's situation is expected to worsen over the next three weeks.