More deaths likely if COVID-19 community spread is not contained: HEOC

Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) has stated the number of COVID-19 deaths is likely to increase should the public fail to contain the community spread in the Maldives.

Speaking at a press conference held at the HEOC, Dr. Ali Latheef from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) said the Maldives has recorded over 100 new cases in the past few days. He added the public has paid less attention to safety measures and precautionary instructions detailed by the authorities after the ease of restrictions.

Raising concern over the number of cases reported recently, Dr. Latheef said people at risk such as children and the elderly are also likely to be infected if people spend unnecessary time outdoors. He said the number of admissions of COVID-19 patients has also increased with 15% of total cases currently admitted in hosiptal, as compared to the 4% admitted in the last week of June.

Moreover, the doctor said a spread amongst locals is very worrying as people of different age groups are involved unlike expatriate workers who are largely youth and adults. He said a larger spread amongst the locals will make the situation more worrying and critical.

Dr. Latheef repeated his call to adhere to follow instructions from experts and health authorities and urged to refrain from movements outside unless necessary. He also urged the public to wear masks and practice social distancing when going out.