'Unlikely for virus to spread via 95 expats identified from single location'

The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has revealed that there is no fear that COVID-19 may be transmitted further through the 95 expatriates who tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

95 expatriate workers employed at the Coca Cola Company and lived in the same labour quarter tested positive for the virus earlier on Thursday, contributing towards the highest jump in positive cases identified in the Maldives within a day. The accommodation quarter had already been identified as a vulnerable location for the transmission of the virus and was under monitoring due to links to a previous positive case before the cases were identified.

During NEOC's press briefing on Friday night, Dr. Ibrahim Afzal from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said it is unlikely that the virus will spread within the community through them despite the high number of positive cases, as the labour quarter was already been monitored since before the cases were identified.

Due to the high probability of COVID-19 spreading rapidly within congested labour quarters of expatriate workers, authorities earlier identified vulnerable locations and placed them under police monitoring. In this regard, the police are monitoring 23 such places, in which a total of 1085 people reside. The authorities will be testing all persons living in the identified quarters. Maldives Red Crescent is continuously assessing the situation at the locations, and are providing necessary assistance. While 491 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Maldives thus far, majority of them are expatriate workers.