Highest risk of virus spread is posed to shoppers

National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) medical officer, Dr. Ibrahim Afzal.

National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) medical officer Dr. Ibrahim Afzal has warned that the risk of COVID-19 spreading when outdoors was a real possibility and cautioned the public to remain alert when shopping.

He said that the highest risk of the virus spreading at a time when Male’ City was in lockdown was through shops when people visit for shopping purposes.

 Since April 15, Male’ City has been under lockdown. Police have issued permits to members of the public to go outdoors for essential purposes such as shopping for necessities. The permits allow holders to go out for a specific period on a specific day and within a specific area of the capital.

Speaking in a news conference tonight, Dr. Afzal stated that such shoppers should remain aware when outdoors.

“Because during this lockdown, the most possible way of the virus spreading is from people outdoors for shopping purposes.” Said Dr. Afzal.

He instructed that people should wear masks when visiting shops, maintain a safe distance, and wash their hands when they return home. If the items could be disinfected or cleaned, the doctor advised doing so. If the items are ready-made items he advised to switch containers as soon as home and discard the packaging from outdoors. Washing hands afterward with soap was also something the doctor advised.

NEOC spokesperson Mabrouq Azeez also recommended reducing the number of deliveries.

“This means when requesting for delivery, order as many items if possible. That way the interaction with the delivery personnel would be lower.” Said Mabrouq.

The Maldives has confirmed 527 cases of the virus. Some delivery personnel has also tested positive for the virus.