Study to be conducted to confirm no community spread of COVID-19

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is preparing to conduct a survey to ensure there is no community spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives.

During a press conference held Monday, HPA's Medical Officer Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said there have been no signs of local transmissions in the Maldives thus far. However, the agency is preparing to conduct a survey to confirm the finding, said the doctor. Efforts are currently underway to finalize arrangements such as the number of samples that will be collected, she added.

"We are now working to conduct a study to ensure there is no community spread. We are finalizing details such as the individuals we will take samples from, the number of samples we require. Hopefully, a study that can confirm there is no community spread will be ready very soon," said Dr. Nazla

HPA said two methods are currently being used to determine there is no community spread of COVID-19. In this regard, those who are admitted in hospitals with severe acute respiratory infections are reported to HPA, and are tested for the virus. HPA is also keeping record of the number of respiratory cases being reported to hospitals, and is closely monitoring the numbers for any sudden spikes. No indications of community spread has been identified thus far, said HPA.

Dr. Nazla said decisions on the current precautionary measures taken against the virus will be reviewed after the study is completed.

Maldives has recorded 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 thus far. Out of these, six cases are currently active, while the remaining patients have recovered from the illness. Two active cases are of foreigners who have already departed from the Maldives, and the remaining four are all locals who returned to the archipelago from the United Kingdom. They are being treated at an isolation facility in Velidhoo Resort.