Govt. discusses reinforcing measures to combat COVID spike

Rapid Response Team (RRT) operates in the streets of Male' City to conduct coronavirus tests on July 7, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) has begun discussions on introducing new measures and reinforcing existing measures to counter a spike in COVID-19 cases, especially in the atolls.

While COVID-19 cases had previously been higher in the heavily populated greater Male’ region than in the atolls, cases are now higher in residential islands outside the capital.

The change is evident in recent statistics released by Health Protection Agency (HPA). Of the total 159 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Monday, 19 cases were from the capital while 124 cases were from other residential islands. The remaining 16 cases were from resorts.

Health Ministry’s Quality Assurance Commissioner Thasleema Usman told Sun on Tuesday morning that policy-level discussions are underway regarding reinforcing the measures in place to combat the pandemic, as well as potential new measures.

However, she did not specify the potential new measures under discussion.

“Cases in the atolls are rising because of lack of attentiveness of people when it comes to following measures and adhering to HPA’s guidelines,” she said.

Thasleema said that the Health Ministry continues to collaborate with local taskforces to manage the COVID-19 situation in atolls.

The list of islands under monitoring released by HPA earlier this week shows there are 31 islands outside the greater Male’ area under monitoring. The figure is double the average 15 islands under monitoring last October.