Search for 15 coronavirus patients who evaded isolation abandoned, presumed to have recovered

Migrant workers wait for a bus to take them to the airport for repatriation. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) said on Saturday that 15 migrant workers who fled after testing positive for the new coronavirus to avoid being moved to isolation facilities remain missing, but that the authorities are no longer engaged in search efforts to locate them.

In a press conference on Saturday night, HEOC spokesperson and epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said some of the migrant workers who tested positive for the new coronavirus had gone on the run, and that some of them were later located by the authorities.

“21 days have passed for the previous 15 people. We have located some of them. But 15 remain missing. Since they have completed 21 days, we will no longer search for them. We consider them to have recovered,” she said.

National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC), which had coordinated the national coronavirus efforts prior to HEOC, said at the time that they planned on releasing the identities of the coronavirus patients on the run to the public.

But the identified remain undisclosed to the public even when NEOC was disbanded and replaced with HEOC in July.

Maldives has 4,898 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 129 new cases recorded on Saturday. 2,791 of the patients have since recovered, while 19 have died from complications.

2,618 people – making for 53 percent of the total coronavirus cases in the country are Maldivians, while the remaining 47 percent are foreign nationals.

The rest of the coronavirus cases include 1,804 Bangladeshis, 336 Indians, 50 Nepalese, and 44 Sri Lankans, 11 Italians, eight Indonesians and six Filipinos.

The country now has 2,088 active cases. 144 of the patients are hospitalized.