COVID-19 patient from Thinadhoo transferred to Male’

A seaplane operated by Maldivian Airlines arrives in G. Dh. Thinadhoo to transfer a COVID-19 patient to Male' City on August 31, 2020.

The COVID-19 patient from G. Dh. Thinadhoo, who was barred from entrance to G. A. Vilingili to be treated in the Vilingili COVID-19 medical facility by a group of locals earlier this Monday, has been transported to Male’ City and admitted to the medical facility in suburban Hulhumale’.

The COVID-19 patient from Thinadhoo is a 68-year-old Maldivian man.

He was evacuated to Vilingili on a sea ambulance for transfer to the Vilingili COVID-19 medical facility, established to serve as the regional facility to treat COVID-19 patients in G. A. Atoll and G. Dh. Atoll, at approximately 11:30 am this Monday.

However, the sea ambulance had to return to Thinadhoo with the patient after a two-and-a-half-hour wait in the lagoon, after several locals staged a demonstration and refused to allow the patient entrance to the island.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed on Monday night that the patient has now been transferred to the Hulhumale’ COVID-19 medical facility.

Health protocols require for all COVID-19 patient above the age of 65 year, as they are at greater risk of developing serious illness, to be hospitalized.

The move to bar the patient from entrance to Vilingili has caused widespread outrage and condemnation.

The G. A. Atoll Council has issued a statement calling the move “uncivilized and inhumane”, and has called for action against those involved.

Several parliamentarians have called for the facility in Vilingili to be relocated to another island in the region, while Home Minister Abdulla Imran has responded to the incident by stating that obstruction of the public health system will not be condoned under any circumstances, and that the authorities will investigate the incident and take necessary action.