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COVID-19: HPA searches for visitors of Gulfood Expo

Mariyam Malsa
28 April 2020, MVT 14:10
HPA's Dr Ibrahim Afzal. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
28 April 2020, MVT 14:10

The Health Protection Agency (HPA), on Monday, urged all individuals that visited the Gulfood Expo 2020 in Dubai to notify the agency via its hotline 1676.

Speaking at the press conference held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Dr Ibrahim Afzal stated that HPA was searching for these individuals for research purposes.

One of the largest annual food and beverage exhibitions in the world, the Gulfood Expo was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 16 to 20.

Dr Afzal explained that HPA would conduct tests to ascertain if any of the individuals previously had COVID-19 and identify any possible differences between symptoms typically displayed by COVID-19 patients compared to those experienced by people that were potentially infected during the Gulfood Expo.

Maldives has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since its first confirmed case in the capital city of Male' on April 15 involving a local woman that sought assistance from a flu clinic in Malé after developing symptoms.

Following the initial case, the Health Protection Agency placed the greater Male' region under lockdown on April 17.

Although an index patient for the outbreak was not identified, NEOC's Technical Advisory Group (TAG) predicted, on April 20, that community spread of the virus began two to three weeks ago.

Maldives currently records 226 confirmed, 209 active and two probable cases of COVID-19, with a total of 17 recoveries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3 million people and claimed over 211,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 922,300 people have recovered.

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