COVID-19: 64 health workers, 67 police officers have tested positive

HPA epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq at the National Emergency Operations Center press briefing on May 25, 2020. (Photo/NEOC)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) said on Saturday that 64 health workers and 67 police officers have tested positive for the new coronavirus amid the outbreak in Maldives.

In a press conference on Saturday night, HEOC spokesperson and epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said that of the 64 coronavirus cases among health workers, 37 cases were identified in July.

The health workers to test positive include doctors, nurses, technicians, radiographers and maintenance workers.

“And 67 police officers have tested positive, including 21 who tested positive in July. And six police officers tested positive today itself,” she said.

The surge in coronavirus cases among frontline workers mirrors the surge in coronavirus cases recorded with the relaxation of the lockdown in July. An increasing number of new coronavirus cases are unlinked to existing clusters, which health authorities warn indicates a wide community spread.

HPA initiated a mass inspection of cafés and restaurants, shops, gyms and fitness centers, salons and markets in the greater Male’ region last week to check for compliance with coronavirus safety guidelines, a follow-up to a mass inspection conducted earlier in July.

Mask while out in public in the greater Male’ region – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives – is now mandatory. Four people were fined and 116 people were fined for violation of the mandatory mask order on Saturday alone.

Maldives has 3,949 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 156 new cases recorded this Saturday – marking the biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases to be recorded in the country. 2,613 patients have since recovered, while 16 have died from complications.

72 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, two of whom are being treated on ventilators.