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COVID-19: HEOC collects test samples of former virus patients

Shahudha Mohamed
30 November 2020, MVT 09:13
Health Protection Agency's (HPA) Epidemiologist Dr Ibrahim Afzal speaking at National Emergency Operations Centre's (NEOC) nightly press briefing. PHOTO: NEOC
Shahudha Mohamed
30 November 2020, MVT 09:13

Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC), on Sunday night, stated that test samples are being collected from individuals who contracted COVID-19, three months after their recovery, as part of active surveillance.

Speaking at HEOC’s press conference, Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s Epidemiologist Dr Ibrahim Afzal stated that some concerns were raised due to the request for sample collection, which is being conducted in order to assess the spread of virus in the community.

He added that the Rapid Response Team (RRT), carrying out the process, calls on former COVID-19 patients to cooperate with the authorities and give their samples again.

Dr Afzal asserted that testing was important, as the currently determined immunity period for former COVID-19 patients is a period of three months, and therefore, testing again was necessary to determine they have not been infected again.

Moreover, he stated that testing these samples will provide more data which will be helpful in learning more about the virus.

He also noted that the public was slacking off in adhering to the HPA guidelines after the number of cases started declining, and reminded everyone to follow the protective measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Maldives currently records a total of 12,994 virus cases of which 1,039 are active cases, in addition to 11,902 recoveries and 46 deaths.

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 63 million people and claimed over 1.4 million lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 43.5 million people have recovered.

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