First COVID-19 test conducted in Maldives comes out negative

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has stated a pneumonia patient at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) has been tested negative for the first ever COVID-19 test in Maldives.

Maldives has been taking measures to prevent a possible of outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. Ministry of Health has stated it is screening patients with pneumonia and severe seasonal flu although they have not travelled to countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

HPA revealed earlier there are no suspected or confirmed cases for COVID-19 in Maldives. It further informed the administration is monitoring the situation closely and preparations are in place in case the virus is found in Maldives.

Urging the public not to circulate misinformation to raise fear, HPA said it will communicate the details and information about suspected and confirmed cases. HPA also called on the public to follow preventive measures continuously promoted by the authorities.

The administration has informed it has strengthened screening for the virus to ensure safety of the people. The administration has also decided to ban entry for cruise liners, and people coming from some areas of South Korea and Iran due to reports of the fast spread of COVID-19 in those countries. Additionally, entry for people travelling from China has also been banned.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned the virus is spreading at an alarming rate and it might become a pandemic. It is now expected the virus will spread to more areas than first estimated.

Over 4,350 people outside China have been tested positive for the virus, while the Director General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remarked the rate of cases in Italy and Iran is on the rise.

While 67 have been reported dead outside China, new cases have recently been reported in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and the Netherlands.