12 ADK staff test positive for COVID-19

12 ADK staff test positive for COVID-19

ADK Managng Director Ahmed Afaal, on Sunday, revealed that 12 support staff from the hospital tested positive for COVID-19.

The individuals, consisting of Bangladeshi and Nepali nationals, are all male and live in ADK-provided accommodation in the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale'.

The residence, which houses a total of 47 people, has been brought under monitoring by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) while the individuals that tested positive were transferred to an isolation facility.

Stating that the individuals most likely contracted the virus from their residence, Afaal asserted that "the hospital continues to follow the standard operating procedure".

According to the Managing Director, staff were required to remain at home if they experienced even slight flu-like symptoms.

He disclosed that tests were conducted after five workers began exhibiting symptoms. However, some random samples collected from 10 individuals also tested positive.

Presently Maldives records 835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 803 active cases and 3 deaths. Capital city Malé, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since it recorded its first local transmission of the virus on April 15.

The COVID-19 outbreak in the capital has disproportionately affected the expatriate population, the majority of whom are Bangladeshi nationals living in highly congested quarters where it is impossible to reduce contact or exercise social distancing. Their often small-spaced living conditions have been described by local and international civil society organizations as, "claustrophobic", "unsanitary" and "overcrowded".

Amid the pandemic, the government has mobilised efforts to transfer expatriate workers from cramped labour quarters to safer environments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 4.1 million people and claimed over 283,800 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 1.49 million people have recovered.