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Stringent preventive measures in place against coronavirus: task force

Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 January 2020, MVT 10:17
A thermal camera installed in Velana International Airport; this is one of the precautionary measures put in place by the administration against the Novel Coronavirus. PHOTO/HPA
Fathmath Shaahunaz
29 January 2020, MVT 10:17

The special task force formed by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared late Tuesday that stringent preventive measures are in place against the Novel Coronavirus.

Speaking to the press on behalf of the task force, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen and Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed elaborated on the precautionary steps taken.

According to Minister Ameen, the health infrastructure is prepared to coordinate a response in the event the disease is detected in Maldives. He noted that thermal cameras have been installed at airport entry points across the country, with the guidelines already formulated and frontline staff prepared to address all issues. The minister also highlighted that protective masks and other paraphernalia are being supplied through State Trading Organisation (STO) and other private companies.

Touching on the government's measures to designate quarantine and treatment facilities, the minister added that further arrangements have been made to quarantine and treat suspected patients in Funadhoo.

The health minister also assured that the state and all relevant stakeholders are following protocols set by World Health Organisation (WHO). He urged the people to reduce the risk of infection by practising hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices, in order to reduce exposure to and transmissions of the virus.

Tourism Minister Waheed stated that a special task force comprising of tourism sector stakeholders is closely monitoring the situation in resorts and other tourism establishments. He added that all tourism facilities have been advised on protocols to follow in the event a suspected case is detected.

Both ministers assured that the government's utmost priority is the health, safety and security of all citizens, and that the administration will be transparent in keeping the public informed about the developments.

The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China in December 2019. As of Wednesday, the death toll reached 132 in mainland China with 5,974 individuals confirmed to be infected, while the total number of cases reach over 6,000 around the world. The virus has been detected in several other countries, including Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, United States, and Sri Lanka.

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