HPA: Tourist who tested positive for Omicron in Maldives in good condition

Tourists at Velana International Airport on July 19, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) has stated that the tourist who tested positive in the Maldives for the new COVID-19 variant, omicron, is in good condition.

The tourist is a South African, who had arrived in the Maldives on November 21. It was confirmed to be a case of the new variant after receiving the results of samples sent abroad of genome sequencing on November 30.

A media official from HPA told Sun today that the tourist is in good condition.

“Treatment is ongoing as the same as to other COVID-19 cases. If the condition deteriorates, the patient will be transferred to a hospital. At present, the patient is doing well,” the media official had said.

This is the first time an individual has tested positive for Omicron in the Maldives.

With the discovery of the new variant in Maldives, HPA has urged the public to adhere to protective measures including wearing a mask and social distancing. People who show symptoms have been urged to get tested at flu clinics.

Omicron, first reported from South Africa on November 24, has been classified by World Health Organization (WHO) as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant Delta variant.    

The variant has been detected in 46 countries so far. 

Maldives imposed new travel restrictions following the emergence of Omicron last week. Entrance of tourists from seven southern African countries - South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Eswatini – has been banned, while locals and work-permit holders arriving from the countries are required to quarantine for 14 days.