COVID-19: Discussions ongoing to decide on measures over new UK strain

The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that a risk assessment is being conducted to decide on how to proceed with taking measures against the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in the UK.

A new variant of the COVID-19 virus that is believed to be 70 percent more transmissible is currently spreading in the UK. New variants have also been discovered in South Africa and Nigeria, prompting countries all over the world to cut off travel to the destinations.

While the UK remains an important market for Maldives’ tourism, many are calling on authorities to suspend flights from the UK.

HEOC’s Spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq Thursday said the UK is one of the countries that most frequently carries out gene sequencing, and is one of the reasons why the variant was identified in the UK. It is possible that the new variant has already reached several countries, said Dr. Nazla.

Therefore, a risk assessment is being conducted, and discussions are underway to decide on a way forward during the current circumstances, said the doctor. All that can be done to prevent the spread of the virus must be undertaken, said Dr. Nazla, urging the public to practice caution.