Dhoogas cluster: 3 houses and Police Academy under monitoring

Addu City, Maldives – Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC) has confirmed that four places of Addu City, being three houses and the area being developed as the Police Academy have been placed under monitoring as of Friday.

The decision was taken due to an individual working at the Police Academy site testing positive, after becoming a direct contact of the 53 positive cases of the Dhoogas cluster. It has been reported that he became a direct contact as he was in charge of ensuring all necessary arrangements were made for those in Dhoogas.

Among the places in quarantine are a house in Maradhoo, two houses in Hithadhoo and the area being developed as the Police Academy. These areas are all used by those working at the Police Academy site, and hence have all been placed under monitoring as a precautionary measure, revealed HEOC.

As of now, the number of active cases in Addu City and the total number of the Dhoogas cluster is at 54. This cluster is of the 128 Indian nationals to who arrived in Addu City via Cochin, as workers of the Police Academy being developed in Addu City. The 53 cases were confirmed after testing all 128 individuals who were in quarantine at the Dhoogas facility, upon completion of the 14 day quarantine. Due to this, the quarantine period of all 128 individuals has been extended by 14 days.

It has since been revealed that there are two direct contacts of this individual and that both have tested negative for the coronavirus upon initial testing. However, they will remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days and tested again prior to being released.

This has sparked fears among the locals on whether there may be a local or community transmission in the city, as the person who tested positive for the virus today was not in quarantine – a first for the city.

As a precautionary measure Addu Equatorial Hospital (AEH) later revealed that authorities, in light of recent events, have decided to collect samples and test all individuals currently working at the Police Academy development site. Prior to this, all random surveillance samples collected in Addu City on the 26th and 27th of September came back negative, suggesting that there may not have been any local or community transmissions within the city at that time.

According to the latest statistics by Health Protection Agency (HPA) there are more than 90 active cases of Covid-19 in 24 different island of the country, with the total number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the country having have exceeded 10,000.