COVID-19: HPA widens investigation into Hoadedhdhoo cases

The Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has revealed that a wide investigation has been launched into COVID-19 transmission in GDh. Hoadedhdhoo island after 19 positive cases were identified in the island.

The 19 cases registered in Hoadedhdhoo island on Saturday are of people from five different families. The figure includes two infants below the age of one, eight children aged between one and 18 years, seven people between the ages of 18 and 50, and two elderly people over the age of 50. The total number of cases identified in the island has now increased to 25, including four people in home quarantine.

Speaking at HEOC’s press conference held Saturday night, the head of Contact Tracing process, Aminath Aroosha said an investigation has been launched to identify how the infection reached Hoadedhdhoo. Authorities are working to identify other people who may have been infected from the island, and are working to contain the spread of the virus at the earliest, said Aroosha. She urged all those who had been in contact with Saturday’s positive cases to report the information.

“We consider those who had been in the 6 foot vicinity of an infected person without a mask on for at least 15 minutes as a close contact. If any positive cases had exhibited symptoms of the infection, we consider all people who had met the person two days prior to exhibiting symptoms as close contacts. For those with no symptoms, we consider those who had been in contact with the person from two days prior to the date of sample collection,” said Aroosha.

The contact tracing process has identified 46 close contacts linked to the new cases, said Aroosha. Their samples will be collected on Sunday, and all medical supplies necessary for the island has been sent to Hoadedhdhoo, she added.

While Hoadedhdhoo is under the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s monitoring, GDh. Madaveli is also under HPA monitoring as the island is linked to Hoadedhdhoo via a causeway. HEOC’s Spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said strict measures similar to those imposed in epicentre, capital Male’ are in effect in Hoadedhdhoo due to the sudden influx of positive cases. This includes the temporary closure of shops and restaurants.

“We urge all residents of Hoadedhdhoo not to leave their homes except for essential needs, and advise the use of masks when outside,” said Dr. Nazla.

Dr. Nazla said authorities do not believe the infections have caused a community spread as all cases are connected to a common link, and are from the same cluster. However, the situation is being investigated further, said Nazla.