The first case of Covid-19 reported in Dhevvadhoo on December 24 22 positive cases on the island as of now Those that traveled to and from Dhevvadhoo after November 30 have been asked to quarantine
While a coronavirus outbreak was confirmed in Dhevvadhoo island of Gaafu Alifu atoll last week, the Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) said that it is now believed that the virus had been spreading on the island for a long time.
HEOC spokesperson, Dr. Nazla Rafeeq announced this at Sunday night’s Covid-19 press briefing, adding that their initial observation that the virus was spread through individuals quarantining in the island was false.
The first case of Covid-19 reported in Dhevvadhoo had been a four-month-old child who had tested positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine on December 24, however, no one else from that family had contracted the virus,
Following this, other parties who had come into contact with the child tested positive as well, and the virus began to spread quickly on the island among its some 600 inhabitants.
Dr. Nazla revealed that as of now, 22 positive cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in Dhevvadhoo. She detailed that 16 cases on the island had been linked to two cases in the capital’s suburban district Hulhumale’, and that four people who had contracted the virus had travelled from Dhevvadhoo to Fonadhoo island in Laamu atoll.
Dr. Nazla corrected the HEOC’s earlier deduction that the four-month-old child had been patient zero in Dhevvadhoo by stating that they believe that the virus had been spreading on the island even prior to that.
“Covid-19 was introduced and started circulating on the island long before, and we have observed our initial belief of patient zero for Dhevvadhoo being someone in quarantine to be false.”
~ Dr. Nazla Rafeeq, HEOC spokesperson
In addition to this, Dr. Nazla also reported that contact tracing on the island was still ongoing, and that they would learn how the virus had been introduced into the island once efforts were complete.
Positive cases were reported in Dhevvadhoo on the fifth and sixth of this month after the first case of Covid-19 was discovered on 24 December last year. Since then, the HEOC has begun clearing 200 samples from the island for testing, and some residents continue to test positive.
Following the confirmation of the community spread on the island, it was placed under monitoring and those that traveled to and from Dhevvadhoo after November 30 have been asked to quarantine until test results come back negative.
A medical experts team has been sent to the island following shortage of staff at the health center due to some having to go into quarantine.
L. Fonadhoo and L. Gan have also been placed under monitoring following the outbreak in Dhevvadhoo.
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