HEOC: Coronavirus patients have some 4,000 contacts

HPA epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq at a National Emergency Operations Center press briefing. (Photo/NEOC)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) announced on Monday that health officials have identified some 4,000 people as contacts of confirmed coronavirus patients in Maldives.

In a press conference on Monday night, HEOC spokesperson and epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq voiced concern over the high number contacts.

Nazla said that contacts have a personal responsibility, and that following the instructions of health authorities is important to ensure the protection of their own health, as well as the health of their loved ones.

“It’s not easy for us to check if each and every one is home, in their room. And especially when there are so many contacts,” she said.

Nazla said that health officials will ask authorities for action against people found to be violating their quarantine, but that health officials can’t call and chase after people.

Following the surge in coronavirus cases with the relaxation of the lockdown in the greater Male’ region in July, more and more people identified as contacts are being placed under home quarantine, and more and more residences are being placed under monitoring. However, several people have been found to continue to go out into the public in violation of their quarantine.

Mask when in public in the greater Male’ region – the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives – is now mandatory.

Maldives now has 4,293 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 129 new cases recorded this Monday. 2,670 patients have since recovered, while 18 have died from complications.

2,178 people – making for 50 percent of total coronavirus cases in the country, are Maldivians. The rest include 1,688 Bangladeshis, 302 Indians, 48 Nepalese, and 41 Sri Lankans, 11 Italians, seven Indonesians and five Filipinos.

The country now has 1,490 active cases. 92 of the coronavirus patients are hospitalized.