Lab technician at IGMH tests positive for coronavirus

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

A lab technician at main government hospital Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in Male’ has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirms that a lab technician has tested positive, but has yet to disclose details regarding the number of other staffers at the hospital who have been isolated for contact with the positive case.

The latest case comes after at least six staffers at the hospital, seven patients, and two caretakers tested positive for the new coronavirus earlier this July. The outbreak was linked with a 39-year-old Indonesian man who passed away while under treatment at the ICU of the hospital for stage four cancer. His test results confirming him to be positive for the new coronavirus came back after his death.

The outbreak led to IGMH temporarily suspending new admissions to the ICU, and revising its safety protocols.

Greater public movement following the relaxation of many of the coronavirus restriction this July has led to a surge in coronavirus cases. An increasing number of new coronavirus cases are unlinked to existing clusters, which health authorities warn indicates a wide community spread.

Health Minister Abdulla Ameen has urged the public to take necessary precautions such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, limiting contact with others and refraining from public outing unless necessary , warning that the “sound of the danger alarm is getting louder.” He has also indicated that the government is considering making masks compulsory rather than a recommendation.

Maldives has 3,567 confirmed coronavirus cases. 2,554 of the patients have since recovered, while 16 have died from complications. The latest fatality was recorded earlier this Thursday.