Health Protection Agency (HPA) has placed N. Maafaru under monitoring mechanism – following the detection of multiple COVID-19 cases which is suspected to be community spread.
The first person to test positive for COVID-19 from Maafaru was an employee at Maafaru International Airport. Maafaru Council President Mohamed Adnaan told Sun that a Maafaru resident working at Maafaru Airport consulted at Noonu Atoll Hospital at N. Manadhoo after falling ill. As the hospital noted that the staff was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, a test was done — and the result had come back positive.
He further detailed that they have not been able to trace how the staff had gotten infected as of present — stressing that it also remains unclear whether the staff had gotten in direct contact with an infected individual.
"Many people come and leave the airport. So the staff would have attended to a lot of people. There will be people who are coming to depart that are sick as well. It is likely that the staff had gotten in direct contact in such a way," he had said.
Whilst 86 samples have been taken from Maafaru so far – 30 of them turned out positive.
In addition to this, 46 houses on the island are currently under quarantine.
"Escalating to this level within a span of about two days means this place is now in a community spread," Adnaan added.
This is the first time a community spread has been detected at Maafaru since the onset of the pandemic, two years ago.
As Maafaru is an island that sees a large number of tourists traveling to and from every day – the island being placed under monitoring will disrupt travel operations.
Along with Maafaru, there are 12 islands that are presently under monitoring. They are: