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Maldives records fifth COVID-19 death

Mariyam Malsa
27 May 2020, MVT 10:34
An ambulance in the capital city of Male'. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
27 May 2020, MVT 10:34

The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), on Tuesday, announced Maldives' fifth COVID-19 fatality, confirming that a 46-year-old Bangladeshi national passed away on Monday.

Speaking at NEOC's daily virtual press conference, Communications Undersecretary at the President's Office Mabrouq Abdul Azeez revealed that the man was found unconcious on a street in the capital city of Male' and taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) at approximately 1045 hrs.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) stated that samples collected from the man, who was already deceased when he was brought to the hospital, tested positive for COVID-19.

Mabrouq stated that the Bangladeshi national, reported to have a heart condition, did not exhibit any symptoms of the virus. Although the man was living with other Bangladeshi citizens, Mabrouq clarified that the residence was not congested and at risk of rapid spread.

He added that contact tracing efforts are ongoing with authorities placing four individuals under quarantine.

The country recorded its first virus death, of an 83-year-old local female, on April 29. The second death involved the passing of a 33-year-old male Bangladeshi national, following a tonic-clonic seizure, who afterwards tested positive for COVID-19. The third and fourth fatalities concerned local males aged 80 and 88 respectively.

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the Maldives' large expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals and live in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing.

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Malé has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

Maldives currently records 1,438 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,201 active cases. The country has reported five fatalities and a total of 232 recoveries till date.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 5.6 million people and claimed over 352,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 2.4 million people have recovered.