The Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated that one of the reasons COVID-19 cases in the atolls are increasing is due to refusal to provide random samples for testing.
The number of COVID-19 cases identified in the atolls have been increasing over the past few weeks, Over 900 cases are currently active in 58 islands of the Maldives.
Speaking at a press conference held by HEOC, the center's Atoll Preparedness official Abdulla Mauroof said taking random samples from islands is extremely important to detect whether the infection has spread to the island, and to assess the current situation of the island. While random sampling has been ongoing since COVID-19 was first detected in the Maldives, the purpose of random sampling is to quickly identify positive cases and take measures to stem the spread of the disease within the community, said Mauroof.
Noting that some people refuse to provide samples in some islands, Mauroof said this is one of the reasons why infections spread in islands. Although island residents refuse random sampling prior to detection of cases, all are eager to test themselves once a case is detected and after the island's situation has worsened, said Mauroof. Therefore, it is recommended that island residents cooperate with authorities and provide random samples before such a situation arises, Mauroof stressed.
The Health Protection Agency's monitoring mechanisms have been activated in 17 islands across Maldives. The situation is most dire in Lh. Naifaru and K. Huraa, and special measures have been taken in both islands under the directive of the Director General of Public Health Maimoona Aboobakuru.