Half of homes quarantined, Mathiveri ill-equipped to cope if situation worsens

AA. Mathiveri.

With 171 active COVID-19 cases, AA. Mathiveri Council reports half of the homes in the island are now under quarantine.

Mathiveri Council’s president Ismail Athif told Sun this Wednesday that the COVID-19 situation in Mathiveri is bad, with more and more people testing positive each day.

Athif said that though Mathiveri has yet to deal with a high-risk patient, the island is ill-equipped to cope if faced with a high-risk patient who requires hospitalization.

“The health center has four beds. If a COVID patient were to be admitted, the place would have to be closed off right? The closest is the Velidhoo facility. The patient has to be transferred to the regional hospital or to the facility. We don’t even have enough oxygen for such a situation,” he said.

Athif said that the Health Ministry held a virtual meeting with the Mathiveri Council and Health Center, during which they received assurance they will receive test kits and PPE kits.

Mathiveri was placed under monitoring on April 21 after ten people who went to the flu clinic in the island tested positive for COVID-19.

Athif said it is likely the spread of COVID-19 in Mathiveri – an island which operates multiple guesthouses - is due to failure of tourists to follow health guidelines. He said that tourists visit shops and cafes that local residents frequent, and do not wear masks.

“Before the outbreak, people roamed within the island without masks. Tourists do not follow the guidelines either,” he said.

Athif said that the majority of the cases in Mathiveri are linked to guesthouses.

He said that local residents are now cooperating with the authorities and complying with health safety measures.

“A senior government official has yet to call and inquire about our wellbeing, even with the situation escalating to this level. This is a complaint. I, for one, have certainly not been called to inquire about the situation in the island,” he said.