The National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has acknowledged limitations in testing adequately for COVID-19.
During Thursday night's daily press conference, Dr. Sheena Moosa said the testing strategy followed in the Maldives must be improved, and that if adequate testing is carried out, it is likely that approximately 300 positive cases will be identified daily under the current circumstance.
The doctor added that the limitations in testing capacity as well as the large number of asymptomatic cases could result in a large number of people infected with the virus remaining undetected, and this is the biggest concern of health authorities. She stressed the importance of improving testing capacity, adding that early detection means early intervention, which would ultimately decrease the death toll due to the disease.
NEOC's Spokesperson Mabrook Azeez said the biggest challenge currently faced is the lack of sufficient testing equipment. While only two machines are currently in use, there are no other options to carry out testing, said Mabrook. The government is working on increasing testing capacity, he added.
The total number of cases detected in the Maldives has now reached 642, with two deaths. Authorities are bracing for a surge in positive cases over the next two weeks, with doctors estimating over 1000 new cases in a single day by the end of the month.