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COVID-19: HEOC warns of increasing independent cases, urges caution

Mariyam Malsa
07 July 2020, MVT 13:50
Dr Muaz Moosa, Dr Nazla Rafeeq and Dr Ibrahim Afzal addressing the media during Monday's press conference. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
07 July 2020, MVT 13:50

Health Emergency Operations Centre (HOEC), on Tuesday, confirmed an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases with no established connection to previous positive cases and urged the public to exercise caution.

Speaking at a HEOC media briefing, Health Protection Agency (HPA) epidemiologist Dr Afzal disclosed that such cases accounted for between 30 to 40 percent of the total.

Member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Dr Muaz Moosa noted that the prevalence of unrelated positive cases was an indication of increased community spread.

He stressed that greater numbers of these cases were a cause for concern even if the total amount of cases are currently stable.

Dr Muaz highlighted the importance of preemptive measures to curb the virus, warning of the likelihood that the daily number of reported COVID-19 cases would increase, based on the surge of unrelated infections.

Despite also expressing concern over the unrelated cases, HEOC spokesperson Dr Nazla Rafeeq noted that authorities were aware of such infections due to efficient and active surveillance.

Maldives presently has a total of 2,491 confirmed and 361 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 2,113 recoveries and 12 deaths.

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

However, the number of recoveries have continued to rise, with 82 percent of patients now recovered.

In response, the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. Government offices and businesses including shops, cafe's and restaurants restarted services on July 1 while authorities are prepared to reopen Maldives' borders for tourism on July 15.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 11.7 million people and claimed over 540,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 6.7 million people have recovered.

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