Just when everyone thought COVID-19 was over and done for, the Head of Communicable Disease Control of the Health Protection Agency (HPA), Dr Nazla Rafeeq has asked to take measures against COVID-19.
This caution comes following the news of a new strain of COVID-19 ‘Arcturus’ being detected. This strain was originally discovered in India, and the strain has potentially spread to over 29 countries by now. While the symptoms are the same as the other COVID-19 strains, it is assumed that this new variant has an additional mutant which makes it potential for increased infectivity and pathogenicity.
With the school break as well as the Eid holidays, HPA had asked citizens to take cautionary measures as there are already patients admitted to the hospital seeking treatment for COVID-19. In addition to this, as Ramadan comes to an end, the time for the Umrah pilgrimages is also to return back to the country, increasing the chances of a spike in the COVID-19 cases.
"Travel is expected to continue due to the ongoing school break and upcoming Eid holidays. Many people who recently went on the Umrah pilgrimage will also be returning next week. We anticipate a continued rise in cases in the coming weeks," - Dr Nazla Rafeeq, head of Communicable Disease Control of HPA.
The caution has also been warned during a time when the Maldives is seeing a high rate of common colds and a recent case of measles being spotted in the country, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between common colds and COVID-19.
Speaking on this spike of cases, Dr Nazla has advised starting wearing masks when going to crowded places, further advising high-risk patients to take extra caution.