COVID-19: Security forces prepares for any situation

The Police and Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) have said they are on standby for any situation that may arise with the detection of COVID-19 in the Maldives.

Two expatriates working at the Lh. Kuredu Island Resort have tested positive for the virus. The two employees contracted the virus from an Italian tourist who recently holidayed on the island, and tested positive for the virus upon his return to Italy. With the detection of the infection on the two individuals in Kuredu, the resort has been placed on lockdown and on orange alert while the rest of the country is now on yellow alert.

A joint news conference was held by the State Trading Organization (STO), Police and MNDF after the government confirmed the two positive cases. In the news conference, the authorities said they are ready for any assistance that might be required in the situation and urged not to spread any false information on the matter.

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen said in a news conference held Saturday night, the task of identifying the points of contacts of the Italian tourist who holidayed in the Maldives is being carried out. He further said any persons who came in contact with the tourist and exhibits symptoms of the virus will be tested for COVID-19.

Minister Ameen urged anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 to remain in their homes and contact Health Ministry’s hotline so that the ministry may attend to the person.

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed asked the families of those who are working in Kuredu Island Resort not to panic and assured that they will keep on informing the measures taken at the resort.

Minister Ali Waheed said a cabinet meeting will be held following the news conference and some decisions will be taken in the meeting. The minister assured that a situation has not arose yet that the public should panic. The Health Minister said the government will keep on instructing how the public should act in this situation.

The doctors in the news conference said now that COVID-19 has been detected in the Maldives, it is very likely that it would be detected in the other islands as well. Hence, they urged to wash hands frequently and pay extra attention to personal hygiene. They further advised to see a doctor if there are symptoms of fever and to use masks. However, there is no need for those who are not at risk to use masks, they said.

The government has suspended arrivals from Italy and work is underway to arrange the return for the Italian tourists currently holidaying in the Maldives.

An Italian tourist holidaying in V.Thinadhoo was also suspected for the virus and tested negative for the virus. However, the person is still at the quarantine facility for another test after 24 hours since the symptoms still remain.

Additionally, two French tourists holidaying at the Summer Island Resort were also isolated with the detection of the symptoms and the doctor at the resort is also isolated having the symptoms. Their test results have not come back yet. The resort has been placed on lockdown as well.