Progress made in controlling the spread of COVID-19: HEOC

Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC) has stated progress has been made in controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the Maldives, although it is still too early to lift restrictions.

Speaking at a press conference, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed from the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of HEOC said progress has been made in the last two weeks, in terms of the figures used to assess the level of restrictions needed. As such, he noted the percentage of individuals testing positive from flu clinics has dropped to 13% in the last two weeks, compared to 18-20% in August. He also noted the occupancy of hospital beds allocated for COVID-19 has also decreased in the last two weeks.

Furthermore, Dr. Shaheed said number of cases unassociated with existing clusters has been maintained at 30-35% in the last two weeks, while the time taken to double the number of cases has also increased during this period. He said the total score given to assess the COVID-19 situation has decreased to between 6 and 7, compared to nearly 10 last month, representing progress in the efforts to control the spread of the disease.

However, Dr. Shaheed said it is still too early to lift the restrictions, as the case numbers are currently stabilising rather than going down. He said it is important that the public continue to follow the instructions of health authorities and comply with the control measures in order to fully control the spread of COVID-19. He added some restrictions are likely to remain even if the numbers continue to go down, as caution should not be eliminated before a vaccine becomes available.