Vilivaru island to be used as an isolation facility

A 30-room isolation facility has been established at uninhabited island, Vilivaru to quarantine those testing positive for COVID-19.

Situated close to the capital Male', the island was previously used as a resort island. The isolation facility has 28 single bedrooms and two double bedrooms.

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed on Sunday said the facility was built as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, and that the project was funded under the Tourism Trust Fund.

"This is the result of preparing ahead. This facility was built in ten days under the Tourism Trust Fund," said the minister.

The island was being developed as a resort prior to being converted into a temporary quarantine facility. The private island was generously offered to be designated for COVID-19 patients by the island's owner, Mohamed Ali Janah.

The prominent businessman said the island was offered to the government to be used as a quarantine facility as a 'national service'. The island has been provided to the government for a period of three months, but the duration will be extended if necessary, said Janah.

"We have halted work at the island and offered it to the government as this is the time the government needs the most assistance. If the government requests, we will extend the duration for which the island has been provided," he said.

Vilivaru was previously used to isolate patients who contracted leprosy and filaria.