New medical facility in Hulhumale' to cost MVR 40 mln

The government has revealed that MVR 40 million will be spent on building a medical facility in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.

The government earlier revealed that a 300-bed medical facility is being established to house those that need to be placed in isolation as a precaution against COVID-19. At the time, the government had not revealed the location of the medical facility. Government spokesperson on COVID-19 related matters, Mabrook Azeez said work was ongoing around the clock to establish the facility at the earliest.

The construction is being led by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) with the assistance of other government entities. Mabrook said the government hopes to have the medical facility, which will also provide ventilator service, ready by April 15.

During a press conference held Thursday, Mabrook said the facility is being constructed in the vacant lot in front of Tree Top Hospital in Hulhumale'. The construction will cost MVR 12 million, and the equipment needed for the facility will cost an additional MVR 28 million, said Mabrook. Work is already underway to procure the ventilators required for the facility, said Mabrook, adding that the process is challenging due to travel restrictions.

A 50-bed medical facility was earlier developed at Farukolhufushi island, and included two ICU beds. Hulhule Island Hotel is also being used as an isolation facility.

While 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Maldives thus far, no local transmission has been recorded to date. The government has been taking stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus, including the declaration of a state of public health emergency; enacting a series of measures to prevent unnecessary public gatherings; imposing travel restrictions and suspending on arrival visas; closing government offices and schools and the requirement for all Maldivians returning from abroad to be quarantined for a two week period. The government is preparing for a scenario in which there is a sudden surge in patients.