Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s Senior Medical Officer Dr Nazla Rafeeq was appointed as the spokesperson of Health Emergency Operations Centre (HOEC) on Saturday night.
According to the Ministry of Health, Dr Nazla will step up to disseminate information about the state's COVID-19 response as HEOC's spokesperson, following the disbandment of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on July 1.
President's Office's Communications Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez was the frontman speaking on the state's behalf since NEOC's operations kicked off on March 7, with the confirmation of the first virus case in Maldives.
However, Mabrouq's responsibilities came to an end with the disbandment of NEOC and establishment of HEOC.
Dr Nazla has been actively involved in Maldives' COVID-19 response since the early stages of preparations. She also took part in NEOC's media briefings alongside Mabrouq to provide medical details pertinent to the operations.
Dr Nazla is well-versed in the contact tracing process to identify high-risk individuals, accumulating data and determining the severity of the COVID-19 spread in Maldives, and providing counsel to relevant authorities based on the findings.
Speaking at the first press briefing held by HEOC on July 1, Dr Nazla assured that the COVID-19 situation in Maldives is currently stable.
The state has eased several restrictions that were implemented to contain the spread of the virus when community spread was confirmed in the Greater Male' region.
Maldives is currently in the third phase of easing lockdown measures in transitioning to the 'new normal' and resuming daily life with precautionary measures.
However, daily virus cases are still identified in the capital, thus community spread has not entirely ceased in the country.
Maldives presently has a total of 2,435 confirmed and 389 active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 2,030 recoveries and 11 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 83 percent of patients now recovered.
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 11.3 million people and claimed over 533,600 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 6.4 million people have recovered.