Coronavirus cases within IGMH rise to 11

People wait at the front entrance of Indhira Gandhi Memorial (IGMH) on May 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) announced on Saturday that the number of coronavirus cases within Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) - connected to a deceased cancer patient who tested positive late last week – has risen to 11.

The patient in question - a 39-year-old Indonesian man who was being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for four stage four cancer, passed away on Thursday.

Speaking at the HEOC press briefing on Saturday night, IGMH’s medical director Dr. Ali Nazeem said that contact tracing in response to the positive results of the late Indonesian patient remains in progress.

He said that 11 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus within IGMH; they include the Indonesian patient and four more patients.

They also include four staff members, at least three of whom are confirmed to be nurses.

Dr. Nazeer said that the majority of the contact tracing work has been completed.

“And of the four patients, two were identified yesterday and have been moved to DH11. And two more tested positive this morning. The two were moved to the Hulhumale’ facility,” he said.

Meanwhile, 27 staff members have been ordered to home quarantine.

The death of the Indonesian patient was initially reported by Health Protection Agency (HPA) as the 11th coronavirus-related death in the country, but was later reclassified after doctors ruled stage four cancer to be the primary cause of death.

IGMH issued a statement earlier this Saturday announcing the hospital has temporarily suspended admitting any new patients to the hospital’s ICU.

“While ICU at present does not have any patient or staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital has temporarily suspended admission of new patients to the ICU and arranged for ICU facilities elsewhere at the hospital as an additional precautionary measure,” wrote IGMH in its statement.

The hospital also announced the decision to reinforce coronavirus testing of hospitalized patients, and to expand testing to include all patients.

“However, we provide assurance we will not wait for COVID-19 test results in providing necessary treatment with preventive measures without delay in situations where patients require lifesaving treatment or any other emergency care,” wrote IGMH in its statement.

IGMH said it will continue to review, and revise its coronavirus protocols when necessary.

Maldives has confirmed 2,435 coronavirus cases, 2,030 of whom have recovered, while 10 have died from complications.

The active cases stand at 390, and the recovery rate at 83 percent.