Over 60 direct contacts of deceased COVID-19 patient identified

National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has revealed that the second death related to COVID-19 in the Maldives was of an expatriate employee working at a warehouse in Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF)'s office building, Kalhuthukkalaa Koshi.

Maldives recorded its second COVID-19 related death on Tuesday. Speaking at the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC)'s daily press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Dr Mohamed Faishan from state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital said the 33 year old Bangladeshi was brought to IGMH after suffering a seizure and died due to a bleed in his brain from a ruptured nerve. The doctor said while blood flow to the brain is sometimes constricted as a result of COVID-19, a CT scan carried out on the patient showed a substantial amount of bleeding in the brain. However, his death will be classified as a COVID-19 related death as per the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), although it is more likely that his death was caused due to a preexisting medical condition. The doctor added that the deceased had not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 prior to his death.

During NEOC's second briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Ibrahim Afzal from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said 66 direct contacts of the diseased have been identified and isolated.

“That is the current figure, contact tracing is still ongoing,” said Dr Afzal.

Several MNDF officers have recently tested positive for the virus. The number of people who tested positive in the MNDF cluster was initially disclosed, but it was later decided that updated figures will not be disclosed further for security reasons. During a previous news brief, Dr Afzal had stated that it is likely that the MNDF cluster could be larger and that several may have been infected with the virus.

551 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Maldives thus far. The new death increased the Maldives' toll to 2.