Emergency motion submitted to Parliament over the pressing COVID-19 situation at Nolhivaram

Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed. The names of three opposition MPs including MP Nasheed was announced and asked to leave the Parliament session on November 5, 2019 for disrupting parliamentary proceedings. (Photo/Parliament)

An emergency motion has been submitted to the Parliament regarding the pressing COVID-19 situation at HDh. Nolhivaram.

The emergency motion was submitted during today’s parliament session by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla – which read that the current situation at Nolhivaram has reached an extremely delicate point due to the widespread of COVID-19 on the island.

In this regard – it was noted that the island which has a population of over 2,770 people have recorded a total of 202 positive cases as of today. Despite this, the health centre on the island lacks an ambulance to transport patients from one place to another – whereas a pick-up is currently being used instead for patient transportation.

Therefore, the emergency motion called on the relevant government authorities to provide the health centre with a suitable vehicle in order to carry out its patient transportation services – citing that the use of a pick-up for this purpose is not the safest option in terms of a patient’s health.

A COVID-19 patient being transported on a pick-up at HDh. Nolhivaram by health center staff.

Noting that the virus was also speedily spreading in the neighboring island – Nolhivaranfaru – it was pointed that traveling in and out of both the islands will be proven difficult if the situation continues to deteriorate. Hence, the motion called on to dispatch necessities to the island such as food materials, medical equipment as well as trained healthcare personnel.

When the motion was opened for debate – Hanimadhoo MP Abdul Gafoor Moosa stated that the matter has also been brought to the attention of Health Minister Ahmed Naseem – and assured to work alongside the government to solve the issue.

Also debating on the topic – Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef stressed that a concrete plan needs to be devised in order to combat sudden surges of COVID-19 cases in residential islands.

“It is absolutely possible for all islands do not have all necessary services. But it is unbearable for anyone to witness patients being transported using wheelbarrows or pick-ups. This is not something the government would wish for as well,” he had said.

In this regard, MP Shareef suggested one solution – which is to assemble a mobile team of healthcare personnel, to be sent to be dispatched to islands when needed.

Vaikaradhoo MP Hussain Ziyadh seconded the suggestion – after which he had stressed the difficulties faced in acquiring ambulances at present in the light of the current situation of the world.

Accordingly, MP Ziyadh stated that he has received information that orders have been placed for ambulances by the Health Ministry. However, as the borders of many countries still remain closed – the transportation of the requested ambulances is taking time.

Nolhivaram health centre was forced to resort to using a pick-up for patient transportation – as their ambulance had broken down.

The island was brought under monitoring mechanisms by health authorities on August 28 – following the detection of COVID-19 cases. Since then, a total of 202 individuals have tested positive from the island up until today – which includes health centre employees as well police officers.