HPA warns caution amid spread of new Covid variant

Rapid Response Team (RRT) operates in the streets of Male' City to conduct COVID-19 tests on June 6, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Health Protection Agency (HPA) urged the public to take precautionary measures on Sunday, after a new strain of the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic four years ago, was detected in dozens of countries.

In a statement on Sunday, HPA said that the new variant – JN.1 – has been detected in multiple countries this month, and is spreading fast.

The agency noted that this week marks the beginning of the school and college holidays, and multiple people are expected to travel for the holidays, and embark on umrah pilgrimage.

HPA said they expect the increased travel to result in an increase in cases of flu, viral fever, and infectious respiratory diseases.

The agency urged the public to take precautionary measures.

Those who exhibit flu symptoms have been asked to practice good hygiene, and cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough.

And those who contract the flu or fever have been asked to increase their liquid intake, take rest, and take liquids such as lemonade, ginger tea, and honey.

The agency also asked the public to take preventive action against mosquito-borne diseases.

The warning comes after Maldives confirmed 26 cases of filariasis in its migrant population – 25 in Kulhudhuffushi City – where the disease was first detected – and one in Hulhumale’.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the number of new Covid cases this month is 52 percent higher than the last one-month period.