HPA limits testing capacity in GDh. Thinadhoo

HPA limits testing capacity in GDh. Thinadhoo

The Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital, in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, on Wednesday, limited its testing capacity for COVID-19.

As per the hospital's manager Ahmed Saeed, the hospital has been sending samples to be tested in capital city Male', in accordance with Health Protection Agency (HPA) advise, for well over a week.

The samples, which are acquired in reference to the domestic flight schedule, often take 48 to 72 hours before the test results are processed and sent to the hospital from Male'.

The decision to limit in-island testing came after efforts to acquire cartridges for the GeneXpert machine at the hospital became difficult.

"We are now [solely] testing in-patients that are admitted to the hospital", said Saeed.

Thinadhoo began testing for the virus on August 5.

The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed after the state initiated efforts to steer the country towards a 'new normal' with the phased easing of lockdown restrictions across the Greater Male' Region. As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Maldives' capital Malé continues to record a significant number of COVID-19 cases, similar to the first weeks following the first confirmed local transmission on April 15.

The island nation now records total 7,225 confirmed and 2,636 active COVID-19 cases, along with 4,561 recoveries and 28 deaths.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 24.3 million people and claimed over 829,666 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 16.8 million people have recovered.