Dr Ali Latheef, on Sunday, revealed the Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s decision to test all individuals for COVID-19 before releasing them after the 14-day quarantine period.
Speaking at the press conference held at Dharubaaruge Convention Centre, Dr Latheef stated that the change in procedure was finalised after considering previous experiences, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and the recent increase of cases in Maldives.
He added that the next version of the standard operating procedure published would include provisions to conduct tests on all individuals prior to their release.
According to Dr Latheef, no current protocol or guideline in place mandated the testing of asymptomatic individuals that came into contact with a confirmed case.
Currently, 20 people are placed in isolation facilities, while 824 are in quarantine facilities.
Maldives now has 17 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 11 recoveries. While there are two confirmed cases of Maldivians, no local to local transmissions are recorded.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 677,000 people and claimed over 31,700 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 146,300 people have recovered.