Speaker of Parliament gets tested for COVID-19

Speaker of People’s Majlis, Mohamed Nasheed got tested for COVID-19 at the Secretariat of People’s Majlis on Wednesday.

The Speaker was tested for COVID-19 because he had travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) recently. He visited the UK on a personal trip from March 11 to 14 and returned to the Maldives on 15 March.

The government has been placing all arrivals from foreign countries in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. After a local who returned to the Maldives from the United Kingdom tested positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, the government has decided to test all those who returned from the UK between March 14 and 19 as an added precaution. The period falls on dates before the quarantine was imposed on arrivals.

The total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Maldives has now reached 19. They include four locals and fifteen foreigners. All four locals returned to the archipelago from the UK. The government has decided to test all the people who are placed in the quarantine facilities even if they do not display any symptom of COVID-19.

Speaking at the parliament meeting held virtually on Wednesday prior to being tested, the speaker said he was not tested for the virus at the time of his arrival since he did not display any symptom of the virus. He does not have a fever or cold, or any other symptoms, said the Speaker. However, he was willing to follow the instruction of HPA, and if he was required to test for the illness, he was willing to cooperate with that as well, said Nasheed.

Despite expressing his willigness to follow HPA’s instructions, he questioned the scientific rationale behind testing all those who returned from the UK from 14 March onward.